Pharmaceutical patents present unique challenges. New chemical entities must be protected robustly, and our specialists frequently lecture on best practice in drafting generic formulae for such inventions. We are also experienced in drafting and prosecuting patent applications for new formulations, processes and polymorphs and new combinations of known active ingredients. Patents in this latter category are often challenged in European Patent Office proceedings and/or litigated in national courts. We are frequently involved in both attacking and defending patents across Europe.
One particular challenge is the variation in patent office practice throughout the world. For example, different Patent Offices take different approaches to medical use claims, to the amount of supporting data required in the specification as filed and to new supporting data filed during prosecution of an application or during opposition proceedings. For a given invention, it is common for us to file and prosecute applications in all of the world's major industrial countries. We have developed an in-house resource specifically to capture our up-to-date experience of best practice before Patent Offices throughout the world allowing us to coordinate prosecution in spite of variation in local approach.