Patents for Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotechnology: Fundamentals of Global Law, Practice, and Strategy

By Philip W. Grubb | Go to book overview

12
PHARMACEUTICAL INVENTIONS

. . . medical science is as yet very imperfectly differentiated from common
cure-mongering witchcraft . . . one practitioner prescribing six or seven
scheduled poisons for so familiar a disease as enteric fever where another
will not tolerate drugs at all. . . .

George Bernard Shaw: Preface to The Doctor's Dilemma ( 1906)

New Chemical Entities 210
Prodrugs and Active Metabolites 211
Patents for Prodrugs 211
Patents for Active Metabolites 212
Natural Products 213
Combinatorial Chemistry and Compound Libraries 214
Pharmaceutical Compositions 215
Combination Preparations 215
Drug Delivery Systems 216
Conventional Pharmaceutical Compositions 217
First Pharmaceutical Use 217
Second Pharmaceutical Use 218
Methods of Medical Treatment 219
'Swiss-type' Claims 220
Scope of SPC protection 222

New Chemical Entities

In the previous chapter we outlined the various types of invention which may arise in the chemical field. Where the field of application of the invention is the field of pharmaceuticals, however, some special considerations apply, and these will be considered in this chapter.

Many of these special problems arise from the provision in the British Patents Act 1977 and corresponding provisions in the European Patent Convention and the laws of other states adhering to the EPC that 'an invention of a method of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy or of diagnosis practiced on the human or animal body shall not be taken to be capable of industrial application',1 industrial applicability being, as we have seen, a basic condition for patentability. However, it is clearly stated that this does not prevent a substance or composition from being

____________________
1
S. 4(2), PA 1977; Art. 52(4), EPC.

-210-

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