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Shobita Parthasarathy

Patent Politics

Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe

University of Chicago Press 2017

New Books in EconomicsNew Books in LawNew Books in MedicineNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books Network November 21, 2018 Chad J. Valasek

In Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Shobita Parthasarathy takes us...

In Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Shobita Parthasarathy takes us through a thirty year history of the legal debates around patents. This is an understudied area of STS that Parthasarathy carefully navigates in order to understand how knowledge production interacts with law. The reader learns the differences in values, law and objects between US and European patent politics. This comparison brings into focus the role that law, biotechnology corporations, scientists, activists, and more play in deciding what knowledge deserves legal protection. Patent Politics is a fascinating read that will continue to be relevant for many years to come.


Chad J. Valasek is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology & Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests include the history of the human sciences, the influence of the behavioral sciences on medical practice and health policy, and political activism around science and the arts. You can follow him on Twitter @chadjvalasek.