Debate Over EU Finding That Pharmaceutical Firms Abusing Patent System
(from Intellectual Watch)
By David Cronin for Intellectual Property Watch
BRUSSELS - Leading pharmaceutical companies are using the patent system to delay the entry of generic medicines onto the market, the European Commission has alleged, sparking a debate at a conference held here this week.
In spring 2009, the EU’s executive branch will present the findings of an investigation into the pharmaceutical sector. ( Report is available here)
A preliminary report of this probe, launched in January this year, found that up to 1,300 patents can be filed for a single medicine in the European Union. The robust defence of patents by major firms can prevent makers of generic medicines from marketing drugs for some 12 months after the exclusivity rights on them has expired, according to the Commission..(more)
一方米国では、Wyeth v. Dudas のようにPatent Term Adjustment (PTA)の解釈について製薬会社がUSPTOの運用にチャレンジして権利期間の延命を図っています。
PatentDocによればWyeth and Elan Pharma International Ltd.に続いて Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. が9月5日に、Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.が11月7日にPTAについて連邦地裁へ提訴したとのことで、独占期間の延命に奔走しているようです。