Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Key concept : Evergreening

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Evergreening is seen as a way of extending the protection period of drug patents. The drug formula is changed or improved, and it is hoped that the patent’s protection period is extended for another 20 years. The question that the examiners ask, and the courts invoke, is then the following: does the new and improved formula demonstrate an inventive step?
Demonstrating an inventive step is the second condition of patentability, after the novelty condition. Indeed, patents must first be novel, and an improvement may count as novelty, but the novelty or improvement must also be “non-obvious” to those skilled in the art. This means that the formula of a patent may be “new and improved”, but in order to qualify as a patent, it must also demonstrate an inventive step.
So yeah, there’s evergreening… and evergreening is never a patent…..:-)
 New & Improved but does it demonstrate an inventive step?alt

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