Intellectual Property in Life Sciences

| Published on 26 Sep 2013

Chetcuti Cauchi

Dr. Maria Chetcuti Cauchi, partner, head of the Intellectual Property and ICT Unit, has attended and contributed at the seminar entitled Protection, Mistakes and Your Yellow Brick Road :: Managing Intellectual Property in the Life Sciences at the Cavalieri Hotel, St Julians, on the 24th September 2013. 

Protection, Mistakes & Your Yellow Brick Road

This seminar is part of a series of seminars entitled MAKE GOOD IDEAS HAPPEN on Intellectual Property and Knowledge Transfer organized by the University of Malta in collaboration with the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise, and Industry & Isis Innovation, the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford. Seminars.

This seminar has dealt with, inter alia, the folloing:

  • Intellectual property in the life sciences
  • Current issues and opportunities in the life science sector: Shifting R&D landscape
  • Current issues and opportunities in the life science sector: Personalised medicine

The discussion commenced with an overview of IP rights. The legal rights involved were discussed, ranging from patents, TMs, copyright and registered designs. The discussion ensued on the specific rights involved in pharma and drugs areas, mainly in the marketed drug itself. Rights involved range from patents on the composition of matter (composition of matter covers the molecule itself), novel use, trademarks of the drug brand name or co name, trade secrets of the manufacturing method and copyright of the patent information leaflet. A discussion ensued on market/data exclusivity and the rights that it confers. 

The discussion ensued on a detailed presentation of the main elements of a patent, the importance of novelty crietrion and the inventive step, what is excluded from patenting eg mathematical formulae and usefulness of the invention itself. 

The discussion closed off with an analysis of the situation of the pharma industry is at the moment. A discussion on the relatively low number of new drugs that are approved every year was entered into, expenditure by pharma companies and the patent cliff phenomenon (patents for drugs against key diseases that have or are about to expire). 

The solution to the above could be to resort to the 'Open Innovation' model which focuses on collaborative rather than closed and secretive R&D, in-licensing and out licensing rather than developing inhouse, and focusing on interactions. This is good news to small companies, universities etc. Outsourcing for R&D and new ideas is now the rule of the day, with  academia, and smaller companies being a new phenomenon.

The discussion was closed off with a networking event. 













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Dr Maria Chetcuti Cauchi

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