Secondary Pharmaceutical Patenting: A Global Perspective

37 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2017

See all articles by Bhaven N. Sampat

Bhaven N. Sampat

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health

Ken Shadlen

London School of Economics and Political Science

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

Pharmaceutical firms’ use of secondary patents to extend periods of exclusivity generates concerns among policymakers worldwide. In response, some developing countries have introduced measures to curb the grant of these patents. While these measures have received considerable attention, there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. We follow a large sample of international patent applications in the US, Japan, the European Patent Office, and corresponding filings in three developing countries with restrictions on secondary patents, India, Brazil, and Argentina. We examine cross-country comparisons of primary vs. secondary grant rates, consider the differential fates of “twin” applications filed in multiple countries, and undertake detailed analyses of patent prosecution in the three developing countries. Our analyses indicate that measures to restrict secondary patents in developing countries are having limited impact. In none of these three countries are specific policies toward secondary patents the principal determinant of grant rates. Our analyses also suggest the importance of other procedural aspects of patent systems, beyond the formal policies targeting secondary applications, that affect outcomes for these applications in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

Sampat, Bhaven N. and Shadlen, Kenneth C., Secondary Pharmaceutical Patenting: A Global Perspective (January 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23114. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2907917

Bhaven N. Sampat (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health ( email )

600 West 168th St. 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

Kenneth C. Shadlen

London School of Economics and Political Science ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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