1. Introduction: the pharma sector as a cornerstone in the interplay between Patent Law & Competition Law A picture is worth a thousand words, the adage says: for the sake of brevity, let’s then start with two images taken from a recent paper devoted to pharmaceutical Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).  Source: G. Dosi, L. Marengo, J. Staccioli & M. Virgillito, supra note 1. The two charts depict the patenting trend related to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) technical field 16 (i.e., pharmaceuticals), referring to a database containing 177,040 patents published since 1837. Pharmaceutical activities have always been patent-sensitive, according to applicable legal frameworks (e.g., in many European countries, several content limitations on patenting
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