Searching for patents on essential medicines in developing countries: a methodology
by Barbara Milani, Cecilia Oh
International Journal of Intellectual Property Management (IJIPM), Vol. 4, No. 3, 2011

Abstract: Although the 2001 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health confirmed the right of countries to use measures to ensure access to affordable medicines, only few countries in the developing world have done so. One factor for this scant use of the so-called TRIPS flexibilities has been the lack of accurate information on the patent status of the relevant medicines in developing countries. Clearly, there is a need for a systematic and pragmatic approach to speedily obtain data on the patent status of essential medicines, so that governments and procurement agencies can make informed decisions on available options for production and procurement of generic medicines. A simple and practical method is described in this paper, which enables searches for relevant patent data from publicly available (and free) sources of information. Using a combination of data from patent offices and medicine regulatory authorities that are available on the internet, this methodology provides an inexpensive and pragmatic option to perform a quick search and access patent information on essential medicines.

Online publication date: Thu, 30-Jun-2011

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