December 14, 2013, 0800 IST
Origiin IP Solutions LLP has observed that there is an impressive number of foreign multinational pharmaceutical companies which have taken a lead in patenting activities in India. An analysis of the patent granted to pharmaceutical firm’s by Indian Patent Office (IPO) for period January 1, 2011 to September 25, 2013, revealed that, foreign MNC’s are keen in patenting their inventions at IPO with F. Hoffamann-La Roche AG leading the patent portfolio during period of study followed by Sanofi-Aventis. Indian origin MNC, Dr Reddy’s Lab occupies the third position, stated Bindu Sharma, patent attorney and CEO, Origiin IP Solutions LLP. Pharmaceutical patents are broadly classified into two types’ product patent and process patent. Now Indian-based multinational pharmaceutical companies tops the product patenting activities, she added. Among the top 20 pharmaceutical firms, Hindustan Unilever has the highest number of product patents in the pharmaceutical sector; Dr Reddy’s Labs occupies the second position followed by Sanofi-Aventis and Roche.
The other Indian based pharmaceutical companies Cipla and Wockhardt follow Roche. Roche holds the highest number of process patents followed by Sanofi and Dr Reddy’s Lab. Among the other Indian based MNC Enaltec, Emcure, Hindustan Unilever, Wockhardt, and Hetero also shows some significant patenting activities related to process patents. Novartis holds the highest number of patent documents for both process and product followed by Enaltec, Glaxo and Roche. The increasing use of patents to protect inventions by large, small and medium enterprises, research organizations have created new waves of innovation .
In contrast to patents in other industries, pharmaceutical patents cover products that take a very long time to build up. It takes 10-15 years on an average in pharmaceutical industry to develop a new medicine from the initial stages of compound discovery through various approvals to product. As a result, a significant portion of the patent term for a new drug is lost before a product enters the market. In fact, the average effective patent life for medicines is 10-13 years, said Sharma. Patent in pharmaceutical sector are generally obtained to prevent others from using the patented pharmaceutical composition or the patented drug/pharmaceutical manufacturing process. Also as different industries have different motto of patenting such as in electronic technology patents are obtained specifically for cross-licensing. Also pharmaceutical patenting in India has survived, shaped and thrived a lot after the introduction of a new pharma product patent regime in 2005, said Sharma.