Patents: the facts

In this section you can learn more about patents. We have included documents that describe the processes for applying for patents, a glossary of terms, and essentially all you need to know about patents.

  • Glossary of Patent Terminology

    This document provides a list of patent terminology published by the OECD.

    Download the Glossary of Patent Terminology (PDF)

    Publisher: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Year: 2006

  • Patent Information and Transparency:

    A Methodology for Patent Searches on Essential Medicines in Developing Countries

    This paper describes a practical method for searching for relevant patent data from information sources that are publicly available and free to access. It uses a combination of data from patent offices and medicine regulatory authorities that are available on the internet. The methodology consists of four steps that will assist in ascertaining the patent status of essential medicines.

    Download Patent Information and Transparency: A Methodology for Patent Searches on Essential Medicines in Developing Countries (PDF)

    Publisher: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Year: July 2012

  • How to Conduct Patent Searches for Medicines

    This guide helps health authorities and procurement bodies to identify whether patents related to a pharmaceutical product exist in the country of interest. This is not a comprehensive guide, but enables authorities to determine if the production or purchase of generic medicines is permitted.

    Download How to Conduct Patent Searches for Medicines (PDF)

    Publisher: World Health Organization, Year: 2010

  • Overview of Patent Process

    This document provides an overview of the process of obtaining patents in the United States and internationally. The document provides definitions for key terms. It provides a summary of the patent process in the United States and abroad. It then provides a summary in diagram form of this process.

    Download Overview of Patent Process (PDF)

    Author: Eric K. Steffe and Michael Messinger, Publisher: Stern Kessler Goldstein & Fox, Year: 2003

  • Patents: Subject Matter and Patentability Requirements

    Chapter 17 from the Resource Book on TRIPS and Development discusses the criteria for patentability. This book is a comprehensive guide on the TRIPS Agreement. It provides a detailed analysis of each of the provisions of the Agreement to provide a clear understanding of WTO Members’ rights and obligations. The book highlights areas where countries have leeway in pursuing their own policy objectives according to their level of development.

    Download Patents: Subject Matter and Patentability Requirements (PDF)

    Publisher: UNCTAD-ICTSD, Year: 2005