New online patent-search tool launched
At UCB we believe that it is important that patent information is available and accessible to the public. This facilitates education and promotes the further advancement of knowledge.
UCB is pleased to be part of a new initiative that will make it easier to search for patent information and to engage with patent-holders.
Information about patents and, in many cases, patent applications is already public. However, the information is not easy to access or to use. For example, it can be challenging to directly link patents to marketed medicines. Some countries, including the US, have databases that help make the data more user-friendly, but many countries do not. In short, the data is not joined up.
IFPMA, the global trade association representing the research-based pharmaceutical industry – including UCB – has teamed up with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to develop a platform that will bring together patent data from participating companies for all countries around the world. WIPO is a specialised UN agency with a mandate in the field of intellectual property and is thus the ideal partner for this project.
Together, IFPMA and WIPO have launched the Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED), a new online tool that will help procurement agencies better understand the global patent status of medicines. This is a unique resource where patent holders provide information about patents covering approved medicines through a free, open access database.
This new public database is now live, along with a platform where procurement agencies can make direct enquiries to companies. So far, Pat-INFORMED houses information from participating companies on over 14,000 individual patents, for 600 patent families and 169 pharmaceutical substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients for medicines in a number of therapeutic areas and those on the WHO Essential Medicines List. We expect this to grow over time.
This will bring greater transparency to the patent system, facilitate communication between research-based biopharma companies and procurement bodies, and ultimately support the procurement of life-improving medicines. Pat-INFORMED has the potential to reduce the time required to procure medicines for low-and-middle-income countries.
UCB is pleased to be among the 20 companies leading the way on this important initiative.