Pharma and patents: experts’ discussions at "IP Eurasia'22"



At the first international conference "IP Eurasia'22: Innovation Space", specialists discussed problems of parallel import, Eurasian and national patent regulations, instruments for legal protection of inventions and other relevant issues. The conference was organized by the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) and the Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property (RSAIP).


The event started with a greeting message from Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation: “IP Eurasia Conference is an important stage of cooperation between the Eurasian region countries in the healthcare issues. The role of intellectual property in providing society with medicines is obvious. Russia is the leading country with a significant number of inventions aimed at treating coronavirus.” Lu Pengqi, Deputy Commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), sent greetings to the conference participants.


Further, the discussion was divided into key topics currently most relevant for the professional community in the field of intellectual property, for all its participants: representatives of patent offices and government authorities, patent attorneys and interested market players, including the largest pharmaceutical companies.


Pharma and sanctions

The market functioning under the economic restrictions was one of the key issues of the conference. EAPO President Grigory Ivliev noted that all restrictions in the field of intellectual property and healthcare are inhumane. “Pharma is not the place for sanctions. However, illegitimate unilateral measures still appear. Today it is important to show the entry of biopharmaceutical products into the market. The system can work properly only when all aspects of the patent are taken into account," – he added.


Sergey Kabyshev, Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Science and Higher Education, greeted the participants: “It is important to define a vector that will allow us to effectively respond to threats against the provision of necessary medicines in the context of geopolitical tensions.” Tadzio Schilling, General Director of the Association of European Businesses, which brings together more than 500 international companies from more than 20 countries operating in Russia, outlined: “Production of a wide range of modern innovative medicines has become possible due to international cooperation and improvement of the IP system. Compliance with patent rights is the key to investment in Russia and other countries.”


The discussion trends were supported by Stanislav Naumov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, who noted that pharmaceuticals is the number one investment in R&D, as well as Alexander Bykov, Director of Health Economics at R-Pharm. He raised the thesis that the innovation process is impossible without mechanisms for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property and compensation for losses of companies-developers in case of patent rights infringement. In his opinion, already now it is necessary to elaborate a set of measures to minimize the risks of endless "greening". He also noted the risks of parallel import unacceptable for medicines: “Parallel import is a “time bomb”.” Vadim Kukava, Executive Director of the Association of Pharmaceutical Companies“Pharmaceutical Innovations”, said: “Despite logistical problems and currency volatility, foreign companies continued to supply medicines. Intellectual property protection has no territorial binding”.


Vilena Galkina, director for interaction with state authorities at GEROPHARM LLC, expressed an alternative point of view on the challenges of modern market realities: “Formally, there are no sanctions against Russian pharma. No one is telling us directly whether our potential partners in these countries refuse to work with us as an unreliable partner because of politics. But we understand what is hidden behind these decisions.” Petr Belyi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Promomed Group of Companies, assured: “We have a strong industry, we are able to create any medicine in a short time.” In his opinion, the Russian pharmaceutical industry stands at a special phase of development and undergoes transformation, therefore we should to start working actively without turning backwards.


“The pharmaceutical market is one of the most dynamic,” Mirzo Ismoilzoda, Director of the National Patent Information Center of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan, stated in continuing the discussions. He pointed out that international cooperation increases the efficiency of pharmaceutical development and facilitates production scaling.


Kamran Imanov, Chairman of the Board of the Agency for Intellectual Property of the Republic of Azerbaijan, noted in his speech the key problem that slows down the growth of innovations is an incorrect structure of financing. “For the successful operation of the pharmaceutical industry, it is necessary to make investments to promote commercialization of tresults of intellectual activity,” said Kamran Imanov.


Maria Borzova, counselor at the Trubor law firm, stressed the need to support domestic good practices in the field of patenting and to choose an approach to regulation based on current realities.


Space of Eurasian innovations - are there any advantages?

The Eurasian space demonstrates a steady growth of patenting in the field of medicine, chemistry, and biotechnology. Yuri Zubov, head of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, recalled that the Russian Gamaleya Institute vaccine against COVID-19 was registered in record time and was the first in the world. The head of Rospatent noted the importance of accelerating the process of introducing medicines into circulation. Yerbol Ospanov, Director of the National Institute of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, noted that accelerated examination of applications for high-tech patents has become an important trend in the regulation in the Republic.


With digitalization, the issues of IP protection are becoming more and more acute. Vladimir Ryabovolov, Director General of the National Center for Intellectual Property of the Republic of Belarus, supported the initiative to create a universal platform for an open dialogue between inventors, entrepreneurs and patent examiners: “The results of intellectual activity stimulate the transition of humanity to a new level of development, it is extremely important to realize the potential in the field of healthcare.”


Aurelia Ceban, Director of the EAPO Division of Chemistry and Medicine and Deputy Director of the Examination Department, noted that COVID-19 applications for inventions are the most numerous among the Eurasian applications.


The Eurasian patent space offers modern tools for the protection of IP rights. Arman Sahuganbaev, Director of the Gorodissky & Partners branch office in Kazakhstan, reminded that applicants from Kazakhstan, a member state of the Eurasian Patent Organization, may use benefits when paying patent fees. Universities of Kazakhstan use this opportunity.


Sergei Belyaev, managing partner of Belyaevs & Partners LLC and Eurasian patent attorney, informed that now many Belarusian companies are applying to the EAPO for legal protection of inventions. In his opinion, it is necessary to correct “rough edges” in order to speed up and facilitate the process of obtaining a Eurasian patent.


Alexander Larin, RGAIS Vice-Rector for Academic Policy and Education, called the Eurasian space "receptive and flexible in solving many issues." Mahbuba Veliyeva, Vice-President of the Azerbaijan section of the International Academy of Sciences, spoke about the benefits of obtaining a Eurasian patent for inventions demanded in Azerbaijan and abroad.


User portrait - who applies for patents today

Leo Bokeria, President of the A.N. Bakulev Scientific Medical Center for Cardiovascular Surgery, cardiac surgeon and owner of more than 150 patents for inventions and utility models, noted the important role of patents in fundraising for research, as well as the significance of patent documents for further development.


Kristine Ambaryan, Head of the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, emphasized that the success of the pharmaceutical industry depends on the level of development of legislation and regulatory mechanisms for protecting patents.


Tatyana Erivantseva, Deputy Director of the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS), noted that intellectual property is a unique sphere with many tools, you just need to know how to use them. “A patent is not a pretty picture, but a commercialization tool,” she stressed.

Obtaining a patent is a complex process. Pavel Volchkov, Acting Deputy Director of the National Medical Research Center for Endocrinology, Director of the National Center for Personalized Medicine of Endocrine Diseases emphasized that the ability to go through all the stages of patenting is also part of the role of a drug developer. Vladislav Karkishchenko, Director of the Scientific Center for Biomedical Technologies of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency, Professor, Doctor of Medical Sciences, noted that IP protection and enforcement is important for the successful development of innovations in science and medicine. The cycle of creating new technologies, providing legal protection and introducing unique diagnostic methods to the market can exceed more than 10 years.


Andrey Nikolaev, director of the Center for Development of the Institute of Intellectual Property at ITMO University, expressed the position of the research corporation: the right to an invention should belong to inventors, scientists should interact with business. Alexander Larin, Vice-Rector for Academic Policy Education of RSAIP, expressed his approach to the problem: “For me, the beneficiary is not the state, not business, but the patient. The efforts of the legal sphere should be focused on him.”


Elena Lubyako, Principal Examiner of the Division of Chemistry and Medicine of the EAPO Examination Department, shared the main criterion for evaluating an invention, which is the inventive step: “If there is a technological problem, there must be room for a patentable technological solution.” A key mistake in filing applications is the lack of disclosure of the invention. However, as Anna Polyakova, Head of the FIPS Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, notes, based on the examination requests, inventors can provide additional clarifications and receive an approval to publish the patent.


Nikolai Lyskov, Head of the FIPS Department of Chemistry, Medicine and Biotechnology, spoke about the commercialization and circulation of inventions, including the work on an accelerated examination of applications in the context of COVID pandemic. Nikolai Lyskov emphasized that the vaccines are registered and protected by Eurasian patent.

One of the key properties of a patent is its priority. Inna Dolzhikova, Head of the Laboratory of the State Collection of Viruses at the Gamaleya Institute of the Ministry of Health of Russia, pointed out the importance of timely filing a patent application to secure the right to an invention.

Anton Bankovsky, Chairman of the IP Committee of the Association of European Businesses, pointed to an increase in the trend of Eurasian patenting and the interest of market participants in the commercialization of innovations in the field of pharmaceuticals and medicine. At the same time, Andrey Matveev, Head of the Department for Legal Protection and Licensing of IP Results, Main Directorate for the Use and Protection of Intellectual Property of St Petersburg State University, added that the publication of an application is a mechanism that “helps scientists and inventors publicize the results of intellectual activity.”

Alexandra Arakelova, Rector of RSAIP, noted the awareness-raising nature of the Conference, since "intellectual property is an open and dynamic system, and a significant role in this system in given to education and training." Today, the market demand is for specialists with cross-niche competencies. Dean of RSAIP Olga Tereshchenko said that the path to the profession, among others, begins with an understanding of the needs of the inventor, entrepreneur and applicant. “Today, on the sidelines of the IP Eurasia conference we offered students, in the format of a master class and a business game, to look at the logic of interaction between patent examiners and incoming applications from the perspective of a potential user who came for legal protection of their developments,” she added.

Patent Dialogue Format

The conference gathered speakers at events of various formats: plenary sessions, panel discussions, IP battle, master classes and a business game for students. The venue was divided into three thematic spaces: IP-sphere, Noosphere and Technosphere. Exhibits from 8 EAPO member states were presented at the international conference as part of the exhibition project of the Federal Institute of Industrial Property "Pharma: from the Past to the Future".

Official sponsors of the conference were Pharmstandard and the R-Pharm Group, sponsored by Gorodissky and Partners law firm, Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM) and Sojuzpatent LLC, the partner was the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS), general information partner — Pharmvestnik information and analytical portal.

The conference was organized by the Eurasian Patent Office and the Russian Academy of Intellectual Property.


Photo bank of the conference

Details of the Conference in the EAPO telegram channel.