A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Ad hoc bill seeks to restore Angiomax term

Wall Street Politico today carries news of legislative moves in the United States to provide one-off patent term extension for the benefit of a US company -- The Medicines Co -- after the law firm that handled its patent work in 2001 accidentally filed its Bivalirudin (Angiomax) patent extension application one day after the deadline. The company reportedly lost half a billion dollars in sales after generic drug manufacturers entered the market some four years earlier than they might otherwise have done so.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has explained that
“this small but important change simply gives the [United States Patent and Trademark Office] discretion to accept a late application, within a limited time period, under specific conditions. This change is both good patent policy and good for public health.”
The language of the proposed legislation specifically restricts one subsection to “a drug intended for use in humans that is in the anticoagulant class of drugs”, the class of products to which Angiomax belongs.

The change has yet to be considered by the Senate, and Citizens Against Government Waste have denounced the bill.

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