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Secondary Pharmaceutical Patenting: A Global Perspective

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  • Bhaven N. Sampat
  • Kenneth C. Shadlen

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

  • Bhaven N. Sampat & Kenneth C. Shadlen, 2017. "Secondary Pharmaceutical Patenting: A Global Perspective," NBER Working Papers 23114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Sampat, Bhaven N. & Shadlen, Kenneth C., 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.
    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, June.
    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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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