Friday, 25 February 2011

Pipeline system: extending solution is not the same as extending patent validity

A Regional Court in Rio de Janeiro declined to extend the validity of two patents relating to drugs Aprovel (used to lower the blood pressure -- hypertension), and Geodon (used to treat schizophrenia and the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder).

The decision took place last Tuesday February 22 and represents another victory for the Insitituto Nacional da Propriedade Industriale (INPI) regarding the counting of the validity of patents. In the case of Geodon, the expiration date was March 2, 2007, but the manufacturer defended the extension until March 2, 2012. In the case of Aprovel, the original date was March 20, 2010, but the paten right holder wanted to extend it until August 15, 2012.

Jorge Avila, INPI’s president, says that INPI supports the importance of patents for society, but the Institute also helps to limit abuses of these rights

The proceedings in question relate to a mechanism established by Brazilian legislation - the pipeline. The current Industrial Property Law, published in 1996, included the pipeline to protect inventions of pharmaceutical and chemical patents which could not be protected before –Brazil did not grant patent to this types of products. Through this new mechanism, a patent holder would have a year to apply to the INPI counting from the publication of the Intellectual Property Act in 1996. The protection term of 20 years however, was to be counted from the ‘first filing’ abroad. Moreover, the validity period should not surpass 20 years after its first filing.

The Regional Court follows the same principle as other cases posted in this blog, such as: Sifrol, Persantin, Viagra,Lipitor, Gleevec, and Plavix.

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