What is the significance of IP in Life Science and Med-Tech?

Pure Ideas and Avidity IP (powered by MAPD) were invited by the Department of Business and Trade (Midlands) to participate in Medica 2023. This year it was in Dusseldorf from November 13th to 16th. Medica stands as the world’s largest Healthcare Sector Trade Fair, spanning four days and featuring over 5,000 exhibitors from 70 countries, attracting more than 83,000 visitors. The event was a premium platform for exhibitors to showcase innovations in Life Sciences and Medical Technology.

Pure Ideas and Avidity IP in Medica 2023

For Pure Ideas and Avidity IP, the occasion was not only an excellent opportunity to increase awareness about the significance of intellectual property (IP) protection in these sectors but also to highlight the extensive expertise and technical proficiency of their attorneys. The combined experience of our experienced patent attorneys from both organisations covers a broad spectrum within the two domains. Additionally, the event provided a valuable chance for our teams to get up to speed on the latest technological advancements in the sector.

In the healthcare sector, products must adhere to stringent regulatory standards to ensure their safety when utilised for diagnosis and treatment. Innovating and developing a product in this industry requires substantial time and investment. Patent protection plays a pivotal role, offering a monopoly to innovators and developers. This monopoly allows them to recoup investments by securing a dominant market position throughout the patent’s lifespan and generating income through technology licensing.

What are Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs)?

Whilst patents typically have a term of 20 years from the date of filing. In this sector, obtaining extensions to this term through supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) is considered important for encouraging continuing investment and innovation. Due to stringent regulations, a 20-year timeframe may be insufficient to bring a new medical innovation to market. SPCs provide an extended term, enabling product developers to recover investments by maintaining a market monopoly for a specified period.

Importance of Trade Marks

In this sector, trade marks also play an important role. Often patent monopolies are short-lived, and building a positive association between a product and its brand is essential. This helps retain a loyal customer base, especially when facing competition from generics after the patent expires.

The importance of finding a patent attorney with the right experience in this niche sector

Obtaining patent protection for methods of treating the human and animal body can be challenging. This is due to explicit exclusions in the UK Patents Act and the European Patent Convention. Engaging the services of a patent attorney experienced in this niche sector is crucial for optimal outcomes. These professionals possess the skills to draft patent claim language that navigates these exclusions and a deep understanding of legal precedent and effective arguments to persuade Patent Examiners to grant patents.

Senior Managing Attorney Vikki Townsend represented Pure Ideas at the exhibition. With 30 years of patent experience, she holds an MEng in Manufacturing Engineering & Operations Management and an MSc in Biomedical Engineering. Learn more about Vikki here.

She captures her experience in the field and at MEDICA 2023 as,

Growing up in the 70s I was a huge fan of popular TV show The Six Million Dollar Man so much so I decided I wanted to become a biomedical engineer and learn how to build him! I was simply fascinated by how the natural human body worked and the idea that we could use engineering and science to recreate some of its complex parts. During my MEng studies I worked as a Research Assistant in the orthopaedics department at Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre studying and helping develop designs of hip, knee and shoulder prostheses.  During my MSc I designed and built a prototype portable muscle dynamometer for use in biomechanical assessments and physiotherapy.

During my career as a patent attorney I have worked on a wide range of MedTech sector cases including cases related to prosthetics and orthotics, surgical implants and equipment, ostomy pouches, MRI and CT scanners. It was very enjoyable to see all the latest product developments in the MedTech sector at Medica.

How can we help?

With a team of experienced attorneys, we’re more than happy to assist and support you with some further advice on how to protect your IP in the field of Life Sciences and MedTech. Please get in touch.