If I were drafting a US patent application, I would put it like this: Patents for Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology is a continuation-in-part of Patents in Chemistry and Biotechnology ( 1986), which is a continuation-inpart of Patents for Chemists ( 1982). The reader will notice that as the time elapsed between editions has become longer, so has the title and so indeed has the book itself.
There have been a great many changes in the twelve years since the last edition was published, so much so that the book has had to be practically completely rewritten. Again, most of the changes since the previous edition have been positive ones; in particular the TRIPs Agreement has been the single most important step towards improving the worldwide level of protection for intellectual property rights. The other main trend has been the increased use and importance of the PCT procedure, which 12 years ago tended to be used only as an emergency measure when there was no time available to carry out national filings.
In the previous edition a number of predictions were made, most of which turned out to be completely incorrect. This time I do not venture to predict how the patent system may look in another ten or 12 years, but I do predict that this book will also be outdated by that time.
Thanks are due particularly to my colleague Mel Kassenoff of Novartis USA for keeping me correct on all matters of US law and practice, to Brian Yorke and Hans van Wessem of Novartis Switzerland, and to Simon Roberts of British Telecom for his expert review of Chapter 15. Finally thanks to my wife Kay for her forbearance during a year in which a great many evenings and weekends were devoted to this project.
All opinions expressed in this book are my own and not necessarily those of Novartis or any other body.