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Pharmaceutical patent

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Title: Pharmaceutical patent  
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Subject: Biological patents in the United States
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Pharmaceutical patent

A chemical patent, pharmaceutical patent or drug patent is a patent for an invention in the chemical or pharmaceuticals industry. Strictly speaking, in most jurisdictions, there are essentially no differences between the legal requirements to obtain a patent for an invention in the chemical or pharmaceutical fields, in comparison to obtaining a patent in the other fields, such as in the mechanical field. A chemical patent or a pharmaceutical patent is therefore not a sui generis right, i.e. a special legal type of patent.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the patent protection of drugs and medicines is accorded a particular importance, because drugs and medicines can easily be copied or imitated (by analyzing a pharmaceutical substance) and because of the significant research and development spending and the high risks associated with the development of a new drug.[1][2][3]

Chemical patents are different from other sources of technical information because of the generic, Markush structures contained within them, named after the inventor Eugene Markush who won a claim in the US in 1925 to allow such structures to be used in patent claims. These generic structures are used to make the patent claim as broad as possible.

See also


  1. Second, once a particular molecule is identified as a potentially effective therapeutic medium, it must be carried through expensive clinical trials to prove its safety and efficacy. ...
  2. Third, absent patent protection or regulatory barriers to imitation, imitators might spend a very few million dollars on product formulation, process development, and clinical trials (typically on 24 human subjects) required to prove therapeutic equivalence and bring their generic substitutes onto the market in competition with the company that has incurred huge discovery and clinical testing costs. ...
  3. It is for these three reasons together that patents are accorded such high importance by pharmaceutical manufacturers."

Further reading

  • European Commission, , 2008 (Public Consultation, Preliminary Report).
  • Rt. Hon. Sir Robin Jacob
  • India wins landmark patent battle, BBC News, March 9, 2005
  • "HIV/AIDS, Patents and the TRIPS Agreement: Issues and Options", United States Congressional Research Service, July 27, 2001
  • "Pharmaceutical Patent Term Extensions: A Brief Explanation", United States Congressional Research Service, January 31, 2002

External links

  • Doctors without Borders as "a tool which can be used to explore how to challenge unfair patents and their negative impact on access to medicines." ()
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