When Does Follow-On Pharmaceutical Innovation Deserve Patent Protection, And Why?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

Timo Minssen - Other

presented the findings of his recent joint paper Patentability Standards for Follow-On Pharmaceutical Innovation. He cited numerous examples from jurisdictions around the world in which patent offices and courts have applied the well-recognized requirements of patentability, including patent eligibility, novelty, inventive step and industrial application, to follow-on pharmaceutical inventions, and in so doing have advanced innovation in public health and ultimately the lives of patients. He also put into perspective the concept of “evergreening”, pointing out that – unless there is a clear misuse of the regulatory system – a patent on an improved formulation, for example, is limited to that improvement and does not extend patent protection for the original formulation – and nor does it impede generic entry for the original version. Of course, this assumes a reasonably well-functioning pharmaceutical market and competition. If that market breaks down in a manner that forces patients to pay higher prices for a patented new version of a drug that provides little real improvement over the original formulation, then it is the deficiency in the market or the regulatory system which should be addressed, rather than the patent system itself. Finally, he emphasised the role of competition law in countering abuses of the patent system, and the mitigating effects of correctly and coherently applied patentability criteria. If the traditional patentability criteria are applied, there are no need for new ones.
4 Feb 2020

Event (Seminar)

Title“Evergreening”, medical innovation and patents: separating fact from fiction
Date04/02/2020 → …

ID: 274625192