Importance of Patents in Pharmaceutical Domain
In the modern era, pharmaceutical industry has been witnessing introduction of new and improvised drugs in a market that is driven by rapid changes in technology. Over the past decades, many advancements in pharmaceutical sector had led to introduction of critically important drugs that saved lives of millions of people. Major parts of the revenues generated from these drugs are invested in Research and Development (R&D) for innovating new drugs.
About Pharmaceutical Sector:
Pharmaceutical is one of the sectors where the consistent innovation is the need for being sustained in the market. Thus, pharmaceutical companies are focusing more on R&D to survive competition and gain market share. Besides this, innovation helps research-based pharma companies in distinguishing themselves from generic companies. The process of developing and launching a new drug in the market involves enormous cost and success or failure is highly dependent on the innovation that is critical for the industry. Therefore, protecting pharmaceutical inventions by patenting them is crucial to avoid ruining up of all efforts and cost associated in the process of developing new technologies.
Lifecycle of a pharmaceutical invention:
What could be claimed?
A pharmaceutical patent claim may cover an active ingredient (API) as such independently of or jointly with formulations, isomers, salts, prodrugs, etc., or cover any of these subject matters separately. A manufacturing process or both a process and a product could be covered under a pharmaceutical patent claim. Generally, manufacturing processes are well known and are commonly used by most of the market players. Therefore, patent claims for a manufacturing process is very rare. Most of the claims cover the composition/formulation/delivery of the drugs.
Who are the top players?
Below is an exemplary list of some of the top players of pharmaceutical industry that are very active in the Patent Protection/Enforcement Domain: