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Over the past two decades, patent law in the life sciences has been buffeted by numerous controversies. With courts, legislatures and patent offices all responding, one could be forgiven for believing that the main constant has been change. In the following article, we look back at some of the major events in life science intellectual property (IP) law and business practice over the past 20 years and then suggest where IP practice in the life sciences may be heading in the coming years.