Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
We are experts in devising overall strategies for maximising patent (and SPC) protection for a product.
There are a number of challenges faced by those seeking to maximise revenue from inventions in the chemical field, in particular within pharma and biotech. Patent term is limited, generally to twenty years, although in some jurisdictions it is possible to extend protection for up to five years for specific products using Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs).
Nevertheless, it is likely that a biotech or pharma IP owner will only begin to recoup their R&D investment when a product receives Marketing Authorisation and enters the market – often ten to 15 years (or longer) into the lifetime of the patent. This means that the effective duration of the IP protection available to a biotech or pharma business is limited in comparison to that in other fields. Strong patent protection worldwide is therefore vital to ensure that a biotech or pharma IP owner enjoys the rewards of their research and development, following product launch, for as long as possible.
Further, patent protection is also important prior to launch, because for a small start-up company for example, this is likely to be the asset that is most attractive to potential investors or larger companies wishing to acquire rights in the product and/or company.
Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals team
Our clients include: a developer of high-performance enzymes; a biopharmaceutical group developing medicines in areas including reproductive health and urology; a developer of innovative blood coagulants; a global pharmaceutical company developing treatments for bacterial infections, metabolic disorders and inflammation; a developer of oral small molecule drugs; a developer of innovative technology for the production of metals and alloys; and a fertilizer exploration and development company.
We work closely with companies in the UK and overseas helping them to obtain worldwide patent protection to maximise their investment in research and development. We are experts in devising overall strategies for maximising patent (and SPC) protection for a product – for example by filing strong initial patent applications, and, where appropriate, creatively drafting claims for follow-up applications covering new and inventive formulations, combination products or medical indications to further extend protection.
Our experience in obtaining patents worldwide, and broad network of trusted contacts, ensures we can advise how best to claim an invention in any given country, even in the face of variations in patent practice throughout the world.
On the other side of the coin, it may be necessary to take steps to remove an invalid patent, so our client is free to launch their product. We are experts in assessing freedom to operate in the chemical, biotech and pharma fields, and taking the necessary steps to invalidate potential problem rights, if necessary.