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

By Philip W. Grubb | Go to book overview

22
COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION
OF PATENTS

I made nothing of my inventions. By degrees, I had the mortification of
seeing others arrive at the discovery which I had made years before. They
contrived to turn it into gold and fame.

Fr. Rolfe: Hadrian VII

Patents to Exclude the Competition--the Pharmaceutical Industry 364
Development of a New Pharmaceutical 365
1. Lead Finding 365
2. Preclinical Trials 365
3. Clinical Trials 365
4. Registration, Launch, and Sales 366
Effective Term of Pharmaceutical Patents 367
The Structure of the Pharmaceutical Industry 367
International Exhaustion 368
Patents for Survival--the Biotechnology Industry 370
The Structure of the Biotechnology Industry 372
The Financial Position of the Biotechnology Industry 372
Patent Conflicts in the Biotechnology Industry 372
Patents as a Source of Royalty Income--Universities 373
Research Tools 375
Patents as Lottery Tickets--Individual Inventor 376
Patents as Bargaining Chips--the Electronics Industry 376

Patents to Exclude the Competition-the Pharmaceutical Industry

There can be no doubt that patents are of greater commercial importance in the field of chemistry, and particularly pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, than in other fields, such as engineering or electronics. A new chemical compound may be imitated more easily and with less investment than a complex new machine or semiconductor device, and the patent protection available for the compound is more readily enforced since it is normally easier to establish infringement. For pharmaceuticals, the value of patent protection is even more important than for chemicals in general. To bring a new pharmaceutical on to the market requires a vast amount of investment, the major part of which is spent in testing the compound for safety and efficacy, and only a very minor part on developing the synthesis of the product. It may be possible to

-364-

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