This book is a highly readable and entertaining account of the co-evolution of the patent system and the life science industries since the mid-19th century. The pharmaceutical industries have their origins in advances in synthetic chemistry and in natural products research. Both approaches to drug discovery and business have shaped patent law, as have the lobbying activities of the firms involved and their supporters in the legal profession. In turn, patent law has impacted on the life science industries. Compared to the first edition, which told this story for the first time, the present edition focuses more on specific businesses, products and technologies, including Bayer, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, aspirin, penicillin, monoclonal antibodies and polymerase chain reaction. Another difference is that this second edition also looks into the future, addressing new areas such as systems biology, stem cell research, and synthetic biology, which promises to enable scientists to “invent” life forms from scratch.