PATENTING FOR MEDICINES BY KANIKA BHATIA

WHAT IS A  MEDICAL PATENT?

A medical patent is legal protection granted by the government to the inventor of a unique physical item or process with a medical purpose. A medical patent, like other types of patents, prevents competitors from making, using, or selling the patented item or process for a limited time.

A patent is a type of intellectual property right and a key driver of value for biotech companies. Biotech companies use medical patents to protect their intellectual property rights to items such as drugs. A patented drug is protected against generic compeition for a specified number of years, which lets the company that developed it earn high profits that help compensate for the high research and development costs to bring the drug to market, but can also make the drug unaffordable for low-income patients.

HOW MEDICAL PATENTS VALUE TO COMPANY?

If one company thinks another has violated patent law, it can file a patent infringement dispute in court to try to stop the other company from using its patented technology. Patent infringement can cause problems for investors if it reduces the profitability of the company whose patent is being infringed upon, or if a company must stop selling an important product or is sued because it is found guilty of patent infringement.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR LICENSING?

The basic approach of the patents law is to strike a balance between the interests of an inventor and those of the consumers and to ensure that the benefits of the new technological developments reach the people, and not exploited by the inventor alone for the monopoly control.

Compulsory licensing enables a government to issue a licence to a third party, whether a private company or government agency, for the right to use or exploit a patent without the patent holder’s consent. Compulsory licensees generally compensate the patent holder through payment of remuneration.

CONCLUSION

In reference to public health ,the committee was unable to find any evidence of systematic failure of the licensing system, a few cases of restrictive or refusals to license practices by some companies have generated controversy and disapproval because of the potential adverse effects on public health. Through the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights , some other countries, such as Belgium and Canada, retain the right to issue compulsory licenses if there is a public health imperative. In the United States, courts have used their equitable powers to deny injunctive relief in cases where health and safety are in issue.

 

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