posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 05:03 PM
It appears that the global giant Pfizer (which "owns" more companies of note than you can shake a stick at) has been exposed as one of those
mega-corporations who use verbal-legal trickery to secure patents....
Not exactly news in the sense of "shocking" and "unheard of" it nevertheless points to a reality about "ownership" and "Patents" which we seem to not
be informed about much here in the US.
Pfizer was able to acquire its Canadian patent without naming the compound required to make Viagra, namely, sildenafil citrate. The Canadian
patent system, like all patent systems, is a kind of bargain between patentees, who are given a limited monopoly on a particular product or process,
and the public, which is supposed to benefit from the disclosure of a new invention, the justices noted in their opinion.
"Pfizer had the information needed to disclose the useful compound and chose not to release it," the ruling said. "As a matter of policy and sound
statutory interpretation, patentees cannot be allowed to 'game' the system in this way."
From the court's opinion:
on appeal from the federal court of appeal
Intellectual property — Patents — Disclosure requirements — Patent for use of compound to treat erectile disfunction —
Patent application containing cascading claims ending with two individual compounds — Claims not specifying active compound — Whether patent
application meeting disclosure requirements of Patent Act — Whether patent based on sound prediction — Patent Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P‑4, s.
P holds Patent 2,163,446 for the use of a “compound of formula (I)” or a “salt thereof” as a medicament for the treatment
of erectile dysfunction (“ED”). The patent’s specification ends with seven cascading claims for successively smaller ranges of compounds, with
Claims 6 and 7 relating to a single compound each. Only sildenafil, the subject of Claim 7 and the active compound in Viagra, had been shown to be
effective in treating ED at the time of the patent application. Although the patent includes the statement that “one of the especially preferred
compounds induces penile erection in impotent males”, the patent application does not disclose that the compound that works is sildenafil, that it
is found in Claim 7, or that the remaining compounds had not been found to be effective in treating ED.
T applied for a notice of compliance in order to produce a generic version of Viagra. The Federal Court prohibited the
Minister from issuing the requested notice of compliance. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
Held: The appeal should be allowed. Patent 2,163,446 is void.
All emphasis is my own.
Now here's the question... why "bundle" chemicals not known to be effective with the drug as a single patent? What do they gain? - Perhaps the
ability to block others from using those chemicals in other ways? I don't know.
Also, if one nations justice system finds such an issue ... what will our justice system do.... besides hope no Americans read about this?
In the US, Pfizer's patent rights on Viagra were originally set to expire in 2012. But when generic companies moved to enter the market, Pfizer
piled on a "method-of-use" patent over the same drug, set to expire in 2019. A federal judge upheld that patent after a bench trial last year, so
Pfizer will be the only company allowed to sell sildenafil in the US for at least seven more years, and prices will remain high.
(visit the link for the full news article)