Swiss-type second medical use patents, plausibility and infringement — is there a conclusion?
A recent Supreme Court judgement has important implications for pharmaceutical patents.
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A growing global population applies increasing pressure on food production. Ensuring food security while preserving the natural and food production environment is driving research and development advances in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. Tackling the issue of food security requires expertise in a broad range of technologies such as efficient pesticides, high-yield, disease-resistant seeds and animals, as well as methods of disease prevention and treatment.
Biotechnology uses living organisms and their derivatives to improve our lives. It has applications in human and animal health, food production, non-food industrial uses and environmental uses. The sector spans diverse inventions including biopharmaceuticals, diagnostic methods, genetically modified crops, biofuels and environmental bioremediation. It is crucial to protect the products of expensive and time consuming R&D with a strong IP portfolio and to defend innovation against infringement.
The healthcare ecosystem has a wide range of different players but each has the common focus of improving patient care and outcomes. Collaboration between clinicians, researchers and engineers across different entities in the private and public sectors is common. Also, there are significant differences in the healthcare ecosystem in different countries.
Subtle shifts in IP strategy away from a purely commercial approach are often needed to try and achieve the common public interest goal. International variations in what can be protected, and the nature of the commercial relationships, need to be taken into account at the start of developing an IP strategy.
A growing and aging population is putting increased pressure on healthcare providers and innovators. Limited healthcare budgets are squeezing the value in the sector to innovators. It is therefore increasingly important that innovators obtain and defend a robust IP portfolio to protect their research and development assets. It is also crucial to monitor third party rights that might disrupt the pharmaceutical value chain and clear the path where necessary.
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