Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Will Mexico really shorten medicament patent term?

From a newsflash today, IP Tango learns that Mexico is planning to exploit the fact that there are few votes in patents.  It reads, in relevant part:
"On January 23, 2013, the Mexican Senate published a Bill adding article 23 bis to the Industrial Property Law (IP Law). This Bill intends to establish a "special" life term for patents claiming a substance or a mix of substances regulated by article 221, sections I to III of the Health Law that is: drugs, active ingredients and raw materials related to drugs.

According to this Bill, the 20 years life term for patents claiming such subject matter would start from the date of filing of first patent application abroad (priority date), instead of the filing date in Mexico, as currently set forth by the IP Law, which could reduce life term up to one year ...".
The opinion expressed in this news item is that
" .. this Bill contravenes International Treaties adopted by Mexico related to Intellectual Property, mainly as it means an arbitrary shortening of the life term of a particular kind of patents, which is privative and would be considered unconstitutional".
The proposal certainly goes against the general trend in recent years towards lengthening the life of drug patents, a policy that is currently being revisited by Australia too (see The SPC Blog here, here and here).

Source, "Bill to diminish the life term of patents for medicaments", Olivares & Cía., S.C., 

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