Pharmaceutical Trademarks: A Global Guide 2020/2021

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A comparative overview of the main areas of trademark and related law as they affect pharmaceuticals in key countries.

Insights

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Germany

Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB
According to Section 10 of the Act on Advertising in the Field of Health, prescription-only medicinal products may be advertised only to doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists and persons authorised to trade in such medicinal products.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Greece

Vayanos Kostopoulos Law Firm
The draft new trademarks law, transposing EU Directive 2436/2015 into Greek law, is expected to be enacted by the end of 2019. It is anticipated to have a positive impact on pharmaceutical trademarks.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Iceland

GH Sigurgeirsson IP
The parallel import of pharmaceutical products is permitted under Icelandic trademark law, provided that the product has been put on the market in the EEA by or with the consent of the trademark owner.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: India

LexOrbis
In early 2019 the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion released a draft e-commerce policy to strengthen enforcement mechanisms for IP owners. Although the steps taken are generally welcome, there are some clauses which require further contemplation.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Mexico

OLIVARES
There is no clear link between the IP Law and the Health Law and their regulations regarding conflicts between registered trademarks and marketing authorisations or distinctive names.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Panama

Estudio Benedetti
Although the Trademark Law does not refer to ‘parallel imports’ or ‘exhaustion of rights’ as such, Article 100 does contemplate instances where the owner of a registered trademark cannot enforce its rights.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Romania

Cabinet M Oproiu
In Romania, pharmaceutical trademarks are governed by the same national legislation and relevant EU directives and regulations as other trademarks. However, some specific elements must be taken into account.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Russia

ARS-Patent
In 2018 the top development strategy of companies involved in the Russian pharmaceutical market was ‘aggressive marketing’. In such circumstances, trademark registration takes on considerable importance as it provides an effective measure to secure exclusive rights over a product’s unique identity.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Saudi Arabia

Kadasa Intellectual Property
There are no specific provisions relating to international non-proprietary names (INNs) in Saudi Arabia’s Trademark Law. As a member of the WHO, in practice Saudi Arabia implements the World Health Assembly resolution over INNs.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Sweden

Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Unlike the EU Intellectual Property Office, the Swedish Patent and Registration Office will examine applications on both absolute and relative grounds.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Turkey

NSN Law Firm
Several pharmaceutical trademarks exist that have not yet been put to use, mostly as a result of licensing problems, and are therefore vulnerable to non-use defence. Any opposition on the basis of such kinds of trademark can be overcome by non-use defence.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: United Kingdom

Marks & Clerk Law LLP
Given the highly profitable trade in pharmaceutical parallel imports where price differences and arbitrage opportunities arise from different national pricing regulations, it is anticipated that the issue of parallel imports will remain a significant area of concern for pharmaceutical companies.

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: United States

Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP
Recent developments in US federal law now permit the sale of cannabis-derived products under certain conditions in states where such products are also legal under state law. This will have implications for the selection and protection of pharmaceutical trademarks.