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 13 October 2010

Patent extensions: some academic perspectives?

The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law (RIPL) has now published issue one, volume 10 (you can view it here). In the first of its four lead articles, Verne Luckow and Steven Balsarotti write about their empirical study on patent applicants seeking longer patent term adjustments (PTAs).  This study concludes that an understanding calculations behind patent term extensions is the key to the development of licensing and ownership strategies for patented technologies. While this article deals with US extensions relating to delays in grant caused by USPTO bureaucracy, not to European-style SPC extensions, one of the authors' findings will interest readers of this weblog because it indicates judicial attitudes towards the pharma sector as well as signalling originating pharma's intentions with regard to its proprietary technology:
"... Despite the intent of Congress to compensate applicants for delays in prosecution in an industry-independent manner, applicants seeking reconsideration of a patent term adjustment in Federal District Court are highly-biased toward institutions seeking patents on pharmaceutical and related biotechnology inventions. Unlike patent term extensions, which are sought in a six-month period prior to regulatory approval and sale of a pharmaceutical product, and often long after a patent has issued claiming the product, court cases identifying patents needing longer PTAs provide early notice to the public, including investors and competitors, of technologies considered to have particular value to the applicant. ...".

Professor Reichman
The SPC Blog has learned that, this Monday, the distingushed US academic Professor Jerome H. Reichman (Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina), gave a lecture at CEIPI in Strasbourg on "Patents and Public Health: Legal, Economic and Public Policy Aspects of Access to Medicines". If any reader of this was present, can he or she let us know whether this lecture covered the public health and policy aspects of patent term extension, so that we can contact Professor Reichman if necessary and ask for a copy of what he said?

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