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Secondary Pharmaceutical Patenting: A Global Perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Bhaven N. Sampat
  • Kenneth C. Shadlen
Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23114.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2017
    Publication status: published as Bhaven N. Sampat & Kenneth C. Shadlen, 2017. "Secondary pharmaceutical patenting: A global perspective," Research Policy, vol 46(3), pages 693-707.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23114
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    1. Mark Duggan & Craig Garthwaite & Aparajita Goyal, 2016. "The Market Impacts of Pharmaceutical Product Patents in Developing Countries: Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(1), pages 99-135, January.
    2. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-432, December.
    3. Bhaven N. Sampat & Kenneth C. Shadlen, 2015. "Drug patenting in India: looking back andlooking forward," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 62652, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Sternitzke, Christian, 2010. "Knowledge sources, patent protection, and commercialization of pharmaceutical innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 810-821, July.
    5. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 99, November.
    6. Elizabeth Webster & Paul H. Jensen & Alfons Palangkaraya, 2014. "Patent examination outcomes and the national treatment principle," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(2), pages 449-469, 06.
    7. Carlos Correa, 2007. "Guidelines for the Examination of Pharmaceutical Patents: Developing a Public Health Perspective," Working Papers id:1203, eSocialSciences.
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