When a company makes or invents a new product, they typically do so to make money from the invention. In order to keep others from profiting from their hard work, companies can apply for patents. A patent will prevent another person or company from making, selling or copying the product for a limited amount of time without permission of the patent holder. This way, the New Jersey business has exclusive rights to all profits from the product. Therefore, patents can be very valuable for a business for the time it is covered.
Recently, New Jersey based Pfizer has announced that the patent on one of its medications — the painkiller Celebrex — has been extended. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted a reissue patent on the drug in the place of a patent that a federal court had ruled invalid in 2008. According to Pfizer, the old patent had errors relating to which diseases the drug’s active ingredient, celecoxib, could help. These issues have been resolved in the new reissue patent.
Prior to the reissue patent, Pfizer’s patent was set to expire on May 30, 2014. This would have opened the door for other companies to sell a generic version of the drug. Now, the patent will not expire until Dec. 2, 2015. Pfizer is estimated to make billions of dollars because of the extension and its stock prices jumped by two percent following the announcement of the reissue patent’s approval.
As can be seen by this case, patents can mean big money for New Jersey businesses but they are not always easy to obtain or protect. In order to get a patent, companies must apply for them and meet rigorous standards set by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. With the right help, these applications can be approved and companies can use their intellectual property to their advantage.
Source: New Jersey Herald, “Pfizer painkiller gets longer patent protection,” Linda A. Johnson, March 5, 2013