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Europe Remains Most Important for PatentStrategies for 83.3% of Pharma Firms


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2nd Annual Bioequivalence and Bioavailability Studies - Full Agenda


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Europe Remains Most Important for PatentStrategies for 83.3% of Pharma Firms

  1. 1. Europe Remains Most Important for PatentStrategies for 83.3% of Pharma FirmsRight across the global pharmaceutical industry, companies are desperatelyseeking to diversify their product portfolios in anticipation of the countlesspatent expiries to follow those already seen around the world.According to business information provider Datamonitor, the 2011 patent cliffis set to claim $78 billion (£49 billion) in global sales from brands with patentsdue to expire anywhere between 2010 and 2014. As a result, it has arguablynever been more important for drug companies to ensure they have a solidapplication and litigation strategy in place. By developing robust strategies,firms should be able to extend their market exclusivity, establish their ownintellectual property (IP) position and protect their existing patents.In a recent Pharma IQ survey, conducted among key community figuresahead of the 7th Annual Developing IP Strategies for Crystalline Forms eventin October, insight was gained as to the main challenges facing patentprofessionals in the months ahead. Also revealed were the key geographicalregions expected to play the most significant part in drug companies futurepatent strategies. Respondents to the questionnaire shared details of exactlyhow many litigation cases they were currently involved in, as well as howmuch of their time was committed to handling them.
  2. 2. Finally, the Pharma IQ research highlighted the extent to which externalcounsels are being used. Delegates also revealed what they look for whenchoosing a law firm and whether their current counsels were performing to asatisfactory level.Key patenting challengesSince 2011 marked the beginning of the six-year patent cliff, bringing recordpatent expiries of blockbuster drugs sold across the globe, the uniquechallenges involved in patenting crystalline forms have in recent time comeincreasingly into focus. Pharma IQs annual Developing IP Strategies forCrystalline Forms event will provide practical solutions to the most commonproblems in patent application, as well as offering expert insight into the bestlitigation strategies.Patent professionals polled ahead of this years event indicated what theybelieved to be their greatest single challenge as they further their IP strategiesin the next 12 months. Drafting robust patent applications was found to be thekey concern facing 14.3 per cent of delegates. An identical share of the votewas taken by respondents citing the task of proving innovation in their newcrystalline forms as their biggest IP challenge.
  3. 3. Securing a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) proved to be the mainstruggle anticipated by a further 14.3 per cent of participants. But it was thechallenge involved with implementing defensive patent strategies that claimedthe remaining 57.1 per cent of responses.Most important world regionsThe patent cliff phenomenon is one which threatens to crush the revenuesand future prosperity of drug companies operating in every corner of theworld. It is therefore essential that pharma professionals involved withpatenting learn as much as they can about the application requirements for allof the regions contributing to their global IP strategy. It is to be expected,however, that certain geographical areas will be more important to futurestrategies than others.In the latest Pharma IQ survey of pharma patent professionals, it wasdeveloped markets which appeared to remain the core focus of drugcompanies IP strategic planning. Europe was named an importantgeographical region to the patent strategies of 83.3 per cent, while the USwas found to be a main area of interest for 33.3 per cent of respondents.Asia was cited as a priority by just 16.7 per cent of participants in the study,while India and South America were not singled out as the most importantregions by anyone. This suggests that the focus of patenting strategy remainson developed economies as opposed to emerging markets.
  4. 4. Division of resourcesKey to the success of any pharmaceutical firms IP strategy will be ensuringthat sufficient time and resources are allocated to all important patentingprocedures. The Pharma IQ survey revealed a broadly even spread ofresources between application drafting and litigation.In terms of how long was being spent on drafting patent applications, 57.1 percent of respondents said that it accounted for less than 25 per cent of theirtime. Meanwhile, 28.6 per cent of delegates said application drafting wasresponsible for at least half of their time, while 14.3 per cent estimated afigure between 25 and 49 per cent.Looking at the amount of time firms were spending on litigation proceedings,42 per cent suggested less than a quarter of their resources were being usedin this area. Again, 14.3 per cent cited figures between 25 and 49 per cent,while an identical proportion suggested that it claimed up to three-quarters oftheir time. Interestingly, 28.6 per cent of respondents estimated that exactlyhalf of their resources were being spent on litigation.Use of external counselsPharma IQs research indicates that 85.3 per cent of firms are currentlyinvolved in fewer than four litigation cases, while only 14.3 per cent have a
  5. 5. greater number of court proceedings to handle. It was also found that manydrug companies are using external counsels.In fact, 71.5 per cent of the industry professionals surveyed revealed that thiswas the case in their organisation. In terms of satisfaction levels, 83.3 percent of delegates from firms using an external counsel claimed to be happywith the service they were currently receiving.When asked to name what they believed to be the most important factor whenchoosing a law firm with which to partner, 66.7 per cent of respondentsunsurprisingly cited expertise as their main concern. The reputation of theirchosen firm and the relationship shared between company and counsel eachreceived just 16.7 per cent of the vote. th thThe 7 Annual Developing IP Strategies for Crystalline Forms event will be hosted from 24 thto 26 October 2011 in London, UK. For details, visit the website:, or call freephone: 0800 652 2363.