Appleyard Lees

Healthcare and pharmaceutical industries

In this field intellectual property rights are of vital importance. It is highly unlikely that a new product will be developed without significant patent protection. Typically there may be many layers of protection – for example for a novel pharmaceutical active, and for its isomers and salts. There may be formulation patents covering different dosage forms and patents for mixtures with other drugs. The use of a known compound for a new treatment can be patented, and there are patents relating to dosage regimes, diagnostic techniques, packaging, and manufacturing processes. Supplementary Protection Certificates can extend the term of protection in some cases. We are familiar with the requirements of different countries which have their own specific exclusions relating to the protection of pharmaceutical compounds and medical methods.

At Appleyard Lees we have experience of helping many different types of clients in this field. We work with universities, spin-outs and other research-based companies, SMEs, the NHS, and large multi-national pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to help protect a very wide range of inventions. Examples of our work include the protection of novel enteric coatings, new formulations for OTC analgesics and anti-inflammatories, methods for diagnosing tuberculosis, antacid compositions, nicotine replacement formulations, adjuvants for vaccines, treatments for asthma and allergies, synergistic combinations of known compounds, and packaging to improve storage stability. We advise overseas clients on European patent issues, for example the protection of medical methods. We also have extensive experience of advising on freedom to operate in this field, and challenging and defending patents in opposition proceedings at the EPO.

Our specialist attorneys are well qualified to advise you on healthcare and pharmaceutical matters. Many of us have worked as patent attorneys or research scientists in the pharmaceutical industry. We appreciate the bigger picture and provide sound strategic advice.