Shayla Love

Patents and psychedelics, past and future.

As a science journalist, I never had a huge interest in patent law—until I began to write about all of the patents being filed on psychedelics. Patents are not evil, they are legal tools: important ones that incur investments and fund research. Yet they are also tools that are widely known to be abused in the pharmaceutical world, and are connected to high drug prices and monopolies.

This talk will provide an overview of what's been going on with patents and psychedelics in the last couple years, and discuss possibilities of what will happen in the future. I'll be going over the basics and history of the patent system, why patents are so often coupled with research, the real relationship between patents and innovation, and how some people in the psychedelic community are trying to problem solve—not just moralise about patents. The creative IP strategies they come up with could have implications for patent use in biotech/biomedicine more broadly, and influence patent reform on a larger scale.

Shayla Love is a journalist based in Brooklyn. She writes about science, health, and the intersection of history, culture, and philosophy with present day research. She has a master's degree in science journalism from Columbia University, and her work has appeared in Vice, The New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, The Washington Post, Stat, The Atlantic, Mosaic, and more.