Written by Ms. Ming Liu of Chofn IP
In April 2020, Beijing Intellectual Property Court published a report on the trial of chemical medicine patent cases from recent years. Beijing Intellectual Property Court, as the exclusive jurisdiction court for the first instance of patent re-examination or invalidity cases in China, has extensive experience in the re-examination or invalidity of pharmaceutical patents, which reflects the examination and protection standards of Chinese pharmaceutical patents to certain extent.
I. Basic Overview of the Trial of Cases involving Pharmaceutical Patent by Beijing Intellectual Property Court
From the establishment of the court to February 2020, Beijing Intellectual Property Court has accepted a total of 702 patent cases involving medicine, including 608 administrative cases and 94 civil cases.
(I) Trial of administrative cases of pharmaceutical patents
1. More than 80% of the cases relate to invention patents.
In terms of patent types, there are 510 invention patents, accounting for 83.9%. In terms of patent content, there are 236 cases involving chemical medicines accounting for 38.82%, 229 cases involving medical devices accounting for 37.66%. In terms of the type of cases, they are mainly reexamination cases (53.9%) and invalidation cases (45.6%). The above data shows that among the patents related to medicine, chemical invention patents account for a relatively large proportion, and the number of reexamination cases is relatively large, which indicates that there is higher R & D investment for pharmaceutical invention patents as a whole, and innovation is the driving force behind the development of the pharmaceutical industry, and chemical medicines represent the main R & D field of pharmaceutical innovation.
2. The article of inventive step is involved in most of the cases.
In terms of grounds for reexamination and invalidation, there are 216 cases relating to inventive step of Article 22 of the Patent Law, accounting for 73.2%. In terms of judgment results, there are 254 cases in which plaintiff's claims are rejected, accounting for 85.5%. Beijing Intellectual Property Court actively exerts its judicial supervision function to ensure the quality of examination or validity of pharmaceutical patents.
(II) Trial of civil Litigation cases of pharmaceutical patents
1. Infringement cases are in the "main battlefield", and there are many disputes over ownership.
In terms of cause of action, there were 77 infringement disputes, accounting for 81.9%. Patentees generally exercise their patent rights by prosecuting infringements in order to sufficiently obtain R & D returns. Patent ownership dispute is also an important part to confirm who will exercise patent rights in some cases.
2. The proportion of invention patents is high, and disputes focus on high-value innovations.
In terms of patent types, there are 56 invention patents, accounting for 59.6% and this proportion is consistent with the relevant data of administrative cases of pharmaceutical patents. It shows that the patentees of pharmaceutical patents are actively exercising their patent rights after the patent applications are granted. It also shows that such civil disputes focus more on invention patents with high innovation value.
3. Well-known pharmaceutical companies are involved, and the target amount involved in the case is relatively large.
Well-known enterprises and multinational companies are involved in many civil cases of chemical medicine patents. The damage claimed in such cases is usually in the millions, and such cases have both high social attention and great influence.