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Features of Swiss-type claims

Managing Intellectual Property

Methods for the diagnosis or treatment of diseases can receive protection in China if presented in a Swiss-type claim. Liantao Li and Tina H. Tai from China Patent Agent (HK) explain this process

Methods for the diagnosis or treatment of diseases are subject matters excluded from patentability in all nations except a few countries such as the US. In most nations and regions such as Europe, Japan and China, however, protection has been made available for new medical or pharmaceutical uses of known compounds/compositions if presented in a Swiss-type claim. This has also been expanded to protect new dosage regimens of known medicaments in Europe.

In response to such an expansion, the Chinese Patent Office (CPO) takes a very conservative position. For example, in its office actions, the CPO typically comments as the following: "A daily dose of 10mg and oral dosing are both an administration feature of a medicament. As a general rule, such a feature of administration per se does not serve as a definition of, or limitation on, a technical solution of any process/use for preparing the medicament".

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