In this article I will be discussing the current trend of patent filing in the field of pharma. The pharma industry has always been in the top list for patent filings all around the world. But the sections like section 3d in India has made the pharma sector vary from all of the patent filings in countries with the same rules as stated in section 3d. Section 3d’s main aim is to stop ever-greening of patents but while doing the same it is also leading to the exploitation of all the research and development carried out by big pharma companies. These companies spend a lot of amount on these researchers and when countries refrain from granting them protection because of sections like section 3d, it directly effects the R&D department of that company and hampers further innovation from that company.
The pharmaceutical patents are not filed with as much interest as they were filed before. From the data given in WIPO we can find out that there has been a constant decrease in patent filing trend from pharmaceutical sector.
From the above table we can see that the patent filing in pharmaceuticals have faced 1.6% loss in 2010 when compared to 2009. It is not only due to the presence of newer technologies to treat diseases but also due to the advancement in those technologies which are taking place at a higher pace.
In the list of patent filed worldwide by the countries, US tops the list of filing patents in pharmaceuticals with more than 100 thousand patents and it faces no challenge to its top position because the next country that is filing patents in pharmaceuticals have about 43 thousand patents only and this country is China.
It is important to see here that the competition to the worlds most developed nation is given by a nation who joined the league of patenting just 30 years ago. If we check out the data for 2012 we can find out that the most patents were granted in China and US have lost its first place for the first time (Economic Times article).
Now if we see the trend in patent filing in pharmaceutical sector in India then we can find out that India is lacking behind in this race.
Patents related to drugs in India
No. of Patents
We can see from the above table that in 2010-11 India has increased the patent filing in the drugs sector but it is still a low amount when compared to the number of patents filed by USA or China.
Comparison between US, India and EP filings in Pharmaceutical Sector
In this part of the article I will be discussing the filing trend of three countries in WIPO. These three countries are USA, Europe and India and the filing trend of PCT applications for these three countries for two years have been discussed.
Pharmaceutical’s PCT Applications
From the above table we can see that India is lagging behind a lot in filing PCT applications as well. Next thing we can compare is the number of patents filed by the countries in their national offices.
From an independent research that I carried out using the data from different sources, I found that the number of patent filed in India for a duration of 2006-10 was around 18000 patents but when we see the data for the same years in USA and Europe, we found out that the number of patent applications filed in USA and Europe are 118744 and around 70000 respectively. This shows us that the total number of patent filed in the pharmasector lacks behind the other two offices with a great margin.
Why India lack behind in patent filings?
This is a question that strikes into the mind of every individual. Not that there is less research being carried out in India, but the reason behind this is the lack of knowledge of the students, researchers and teachers about the IPR sector. It is important for them to know that they should try to keepallof their research work away from the public until they applies for the patent. Even now universities and colleges main focus is on publishing papers in journals and not on the protecting the new inventions made by them.
India has to overcome their old policy and get into the field of IPR and file more patents in spite of publishing papers in the journals. Because by doing so the researchers are just giving up the inventions of monetary value to the public for free. I am not saying that it is not good but I want to say that if they have done so much of hard work than they should try to get benefits out of them too.
In the pharmaceutical sector we can see that the patent filings have decreased in last few years worldwide. But when we check for the same in India we find out that in spite of decrease in patent filing in pharma sector, year 2011 was good for patent filings and there was an increase in this trend in India. Patent filing trend have changed a lot worldwide whereas pharmaceutical were thought to be a trendy topic for patent filing before 2007, a lot of decrease has been seen in the patent filing trend in pharmaceuticals after 2007. This can be said due to the implementation of new rules by different countries to stop ever-greening of patents or to the rules like compulsory licenses.