IP & the Public Interest Speaker Series

Antitrust Policing of Pharma Abuses of the Patent System
Sandeep Vaheesan
February 8, 2023 | 12:00pm ET | 16:00pm UTC | Virtual

Hosted by Charles Duan

Link to Event Recording


The talk will focus on some of the ways in which pharmaceutical corporations abuse the patent system to protect or extend monopolies on branded drugs.  The presenter will examine unfair practices such as pay-for-delay agreements between branded and generic drug makers, fraudulent procurement of patents, and construction of patent thickets. Antitrust law, especially the expansive powers Congress established in the Federal Trade Commission Act, can be a powerful tool to regulate misconduct involving patents.


Sandeep Vaheesan

Sandeep Vaheesan is the legal director at the Open Markets Institute. He leads Open Markets’ legal advocacy and research work, including its amicus program. Vaheesan works on a range of anti-monopoly topics, including antitrust law’s role in structuring labor markets and promoting fair competition. From 2015 to 2018, he served as a regulations counsel at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he helped develop rules on payday and title lending and debt collection practices. Before that, he worked at the American Antitrust Institute. Vaheesan’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harvard Law & Policy Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yale Law Journal Forum. He has a forthcoming book titled Democracy in Power with the University of Chicago Press on the history of public and cooperative power in the United States and the lessons it offers for building a clean, publicly accountable electric industry today.


Charles Duan

Charles Duan, is a senior policy fellow with American University Washington  College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. He is also a member of the Patent Public Advisory Committee of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is a senior fellow with the R Street Institute, a D.C. think tank, and was formerly the Director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge. His work and research focuses on intellectual property policy and its effects on the public interest in a variety of technology fields. Charles has a J.D. from Harvard Law School.


Intellectual property laws such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks have tremendous impact on the public interest—essential medicines, telecommunications, freedom of expression, and consumer protection. In this speaker series, we will be joined by intellectual property experts at public-interest nonprofit organizations. They will discuss the big issues in IP law, as well as career path options in this unique field. These conversations will be of interest to seasoned practitioners looking to learn about key developments in law and policy, and students and young lawyers looking for less traveled job options in fast-moving and impactful fields.