This paper was prepared by the director of the US-based Consumer Project on Technology for the United Nations Development Programme. It examines the use of a patent without permission of the patent owner.

The article focuses on models for compulsory licensing and government use of patents as a tool to increase access to medicines in developing countries. The author outlines a recommended model for government authorisations of uses of patents without the permission of the patent owner, drawing on examples from both developed and developing countries.