The Role of Intellectual Property in Local Production in Developing Countries. Opportunities and Challenges
(2016; 56 pages)


Intellectual property plays an important role both for the researching pharmaceutical industry, which relies heavily on intellectual property to protect its products, and for generic companies, which produce copies of existing medicines once patent protection expires. Beyond patent protection, trademarks are another form of intellectual property rights used to identify and market pharmaceutical products. Trade secrets and protection of clinical test data are other important elements of this industry. Consequently, how a national intellectual property system is set up is important when considering options for local production of pharmaceuticals in developing countries.

Using practical examples and patent landscapes, this report attempts to set out the various strategies and options available to facilitate local production. The report describes the options available to countries with a generic industry to design an intellectual property system that is favourable for local production and potentially for public health. The report highlights the importance of transparent and fair patent administration systems using the example of access to patent information. The report exemplifies how this can also support the use of certain pre-grant flexibilities to increase the space for local generic companies and facilitate local production.

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