June 21, 2024
Life Sciences | Tea Leaves
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has introduced a new rule aimed at curbing the misuse of patent thickets in the pharmaceutical industry. These patent thickets, made up of numerous patents with incremental changes to drugs, are exploited by companies to prolong monopolies on brand-name medicines, delaying the entry of cheaper generic alternatives. Central to these thickets is the use of terminal disclaimers, where drug companies assure the patents’ expiration concurrently with the original patent. The proposed rule seeks to address this practice, which critics argue contributes to high drug prices without significant benefit to patients, thereby aiming to safeguard fair competition and affordability in the pharmaceutical market. (Article here)