A patent represents an exclusive right given to a person by the state. This person could either be a natural or an artificial person. A natural person means an individual while an artificial person means a registered corporation or entity which can trade on itself and be sued by its name. Most patents are innovations and are intangible intellectual property. The innovator undergoes a lot of research and mental pressure before discovering a product hence the need for legal protection (Pitruzzella & Muscolo,2016). The pharmaceutical patent law helps to protect innovations of drug related products within the pharmaceutical industry. It covers both drug and food administration. The drug patent defines the stages of drug approval. It identifies critical issues relating to infringement and enforcement of the law including civil and criminal litigation. Fair use permits the use of patented intellectual property without obtaining the consent of the patent owner. It is an authorized right but not an exclusive right and should only be used when an unavoidable professional need arises and the right should not be misused.
A patent normally law has a duration of 20 years in most jurisdictions including the United States. Exclusivity rights vary with the drug product owned by the company but have a maximum period of seven years and should be within the technical scope of the patent. The present fair use in a patent strikes a necessary balance between the creators of the patent and users who are manufacturers. Users can use a particular innovation for the common good of the market. Fair use makes material cheap and much to the advantage of the consumer. The ability of pharmaceutical companies to patent plant-derived substances enables them to have funds for research and development. The patent protection acts as a motivator for innovators who work extremely hard to fix market-related challenges (Pitruzzella & Muscolo,2016, p.33). There are many ways a company can provide compensation apart from direct payments. The innovator can be given shares in the enterprise equivalent to the value of his innovation. An employee who innovates a product on behalf of the company can be promoted to a high level and be awarded a high salary.
Pitruzzella, G., & Muscolo, G. (2016). Competition and patent law in the pharmaceutical sector: An international perspective.