Chemical 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.

In the United States, patents on pharmaceuticals were considered unethical by the medical profession during most of the nineteenth-century.[4]

Markush structure
Example of a Markush structure

See also


  1. ^ Oliver Gassmann, Gerrit Reepmeyer, Maximilian von Zedtwitz, Leading Pharmaceutical Innovation, Trends and Drivers for Growth in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Springer, 2008, ISBN 3-540-77635-4, ISBN 978-3-540-77635-2, pages 133-134.
  2. ^ Scherer FM., The economics of human gene patents Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Acad Med. 2002 Dec;77(12 Pt 2):1348-67 : "
    • For one, in pharmaceuticals, as in organic and agricultural chemicals, patent claims tend to define products especially precisely. ...
    • 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. ...
    • 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. ...
    It is for these three reasons together that patents are accorded such high importance by pharmaceutical manufacturers."
  3. ^ "... patents are key in the pharmaceutical sector, as they allow companies to recoup their often very considerable investments and to be rewarded for their innovative efforts" in European Commission, Pharmaceutical Sector Inquiry, Preliminary Report (DG Competition Staff Working Paper), 28 November 2008, page 5 (pdf, 1.95 MB).
  4. ^ Gabriel, Joseph (2014). Medical Monopoly: Intellectual Property and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226108186.

Further reading

External links

Mike Lynch (information scientist)

Michael Felix Lynch MBCS is a Professor Emeritus in the Information School of the University of Sheffield, England, his main research having been in chemoinformatics. Lynch obtained B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from University College, Dublin in 1954 and 1957. Following two years in industry in the UK, he joined the staff of Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) in Columbus, Ohio in the USA, in 1961.

Lynch returned to the UK in 1965 and was a teacher and researcher at Sheffield in the Postgraduate School of Librarianship and Information Science, later the Department of Information Studies and now the Information School, from 1965 until 1995. His research interests centred on the characterization of data structures implicit in records of information, both in relation to databases of text and of chemical structures, and on applying these data structures for the development of algorithms which might then lead to useful applications. Among the applications resulting from his work are text compression, as well as methods for searching databases of chemical substances for substructures, the identification of changes due to chemical reactions, and the design of improved chemical patent information systems. Much of the research was funded by the information industry, and has been influential in the design of present-day systems. He produced more than 140 research publications and several textbooks.In 1989, Lynch was awarded the Skolnik Award of the American Chemical Society. This award was given "for pioneering research of more than two decades on the development of methods for the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of chemical structures and reactions as well as related bibliographic information, including generic structure storage and retrieval, automatic subject indexing, articulated subject index production, document retrieval system, and database management." Lynch was Honorary President of the Chemical Structure Association, which awards the triennial CSA Trust Mike Lynch Award in his honour.In 1999 the University of Sheffield Information School opened the Michael Lynch Research Lab, named in his honour, and used as a base for the Chemoinformatics and Health Informatics research groups. It was refurbished in 2014.

Organyl group

In organic and organometallic chemistry a organyl group is an organic substituent with one (sometimes more) free valence(-s) at a carbon atom. The term is often used in chemical patent literature to protect claims over a broad scope.

Outline of patents

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to patents:

Patent – set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process. Patents are a form of intellectual property.

Patent (disambiguation)

A patent is a set of rights granted by a government to an inventor.

Patent troll

In international law and business, patent trolling or patent hoarding is a categorical or pejorative term applied to a person or company that attempts to enforce patent rights against accused infringers far beyond the patent's actual value or contribution to the prior art, often through hardball legal tactics (frivolous litigation, vexatious litigation, strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), chilling effects, and the like). Patent trolls often do not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question. However, some entities which do not practice their asserted patent may not be considered "patent trolls" when they license their patented technologies on reasonable terms in advance.Other related concepts include patent holding company (PHC), patent assertion entity (PAE), and non-practicing entity (NPE), which may or may not be considered a "patent troll" depending on the position they are taking and the perception of that position by the public. While in most cases the entities termed "trolls" are operating within the bounds of the legal system, their aggressive tactics achieve outcomes contrary to the origins of the patent system as a legislated social contract to foster and protect innovation; the rapid rise of the modern information economy has put the global intellectual property system under more strain.

Beginning in 2011, a inter partes reviews (IPR) process in the United States allows executive branch agency rather than the courts to invalidate a patent—this was affirmed by a Supreme Court decision in 2018. In 2015, 45% of all patent cases in the United States were filed in the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, and 28% of all patents were filed before James Rodney Gilstrap, as this court was known for favoring plaintiffs and for its expertise in patent suits. However, in May 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a unanimous decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC that patent litigation cases must be heard in the state in which the defendant is incorporated, shutting down this option for plaintiffs.Patent trolling has been less of a problem in Europe than in the United States, because Europe has a loser pays costs regime. In contrast, the U.S. generally used the so-called American rule, providing that each party is responsible for paying its own attorney's fees, until the U.S. Supreme Court decided Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc. on April 29, 2014.

Pharmaceutical innovations

Pharmaceutical innovations are currently guided by a patent system, the patent system protects the innovator of medicines for a period of time. The patent system does not currently stimulate innovation or pricing that provides access to medicine for those who need it the most, It provides for profitable innovation. As of 2014 about $140 Billion is spent on research and development of pharmaceuticals which produces 25-35 new drugs. Technology, which is transforming science, medicine, and research tools has increased the speed at which we can analyze data but we currently still must test the products which is a lengthy process. Differences in the performance of medical care may be due to variation in the introduction and circulation of pharmaceutical innovations.Pharmaceutical innovation may not apply the same definition of "initiative" as other industries because while a product might use a new molecule or formula, that by itself holds very little value. For people that need the product the health benefits that were not previously achievable may be a deciding factor as to whether or not it is initiative. While a pharmaceutical company may view a product that fills a niche as innovative if it can produce a profit.A decline in research and development has been coined as Eroom's Law.

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