The Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED) is a new search engine and database that facilitates access to patent information on medicines worldwide. It is comprised of an open-access database and a facility for procurement agencies to make follow-up enquiries directly to companies holding the patents.
Pat-INFORMED is a collaboration between WIPO, IFPMA and 20 pharmaceutical companies.
Pat-INFORMED provides information about key patents on medicines. So far, Pat-INFORMED houses information on over 14,000 individual patents, for 600 patent families and 160 distinct products. At this time, the scope of the database covers medicines in six therapeutic areas, plus a number of other patented products belonging to the World Health Organization Essential Medicines List. As the project moves forward, it will likely be expanded to additional therapeutic areas.
Pat-INFORMED originated in the industry’s efforts to add clarity to patent information about medicines. WIPO’s globally recognized expertise in the organization and public dissemination of patent data made it the natural partner.
The principal purpose of the initiative is to provide easily accessible and understandable information about the patent status of a specific medicine in a particular country. Pat-INFORMED provides a service to the global health community, particularly those involved in procurement of medicines, by providing clear and concise information, identifying key patents related to a product worldwide.
Anyone can search the Pat-INFORMED database simply by typing the INN (International Nonproprietary Name) into the search box.
A second, unique aspect of Pat-INFORMED is the facility to contact the patent or rights holder directly and obtain additional information. However, this second step is limited to bona fide procurement agencies.
The search engine and database component are open to anyone without restriction. The second step of obtaining additional information from the patent or rights holders is limited to bona fide procurement agencies and others directly involved in the procurement of medicines.
Disclosing pending applications for patents could be misleading and premature. There are many reasons why a patent application may not lead to the grant of a patent at all or not in the form that would cover a medicine. For example, the patent application may be rejected, amended, or abandoned by the applicant during the application process.
MedsPaL is a database hosted by the Medicines Patent Pool with patent and licensing information on medicines for HIV, tuberculosis, hapatitis C and other patented essential medicines in low- and middle-income countries. Both MedsPaL and Pat-INFORMED are tools that procurement agencies can use to gather information on medicines they intend to purchase.
One difference between the databases is the source of the data. The Pat-INFORMED database relies exclusively on patent information provided by participating companies, while MedsPaL gathers information primarily from national and regional patent offices; licensing information from public licensing agreements; and data exclusivity information from national regulatory authorities.
Another key difference is that through the Pat-INFORMED database, the company providing the data will respond to inquiries from procurement agencies.
PATENTSCOPE is a WIPO database providing access to information on international (Patent Cooperation Treaty or PCT) patent applications as well as to patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices.
Pat-INFORMED differs from this (and other information provided by patent offices) in that it shows products on the market and patents related to those products that are currently in force.
Disclaimer: The questions and answers provided on this page serve a purely informative purpose and are not a legal point of reference. They do not necessarily represent the official position of WIPO or its member states.