29 Billion reasons to litigate?
The most successful IP strategies in the pharma industry are often aggressive. They have to be.
US $29 Billion in drugs come off patent this year – however that’s the innovators’ current markets – these products will all have multiple generic suppliers on patent expiry, and so with price competition, the actual markets will be much smaller.
The fruits go to those companies who don’t wait for patent expiry before launching, and instead develop non-infringement or invalidity strategies. High risk, but high reward.
Of course, the same forces apply in other industries too. However, an exclusive originator as the supplier of a patent protected product is much less common. Instead, there are usually one or more cross-licensing deals based on IP that would otherwise block new products from entering the market.
It’s interesting to think about how this latter model might apply to pharmaceuticals. Something to explore, especially given that there is no longer a clear distinction between many of the ‘innovator’ and ‘generic’ companies.