The United States and China entered into a historic treaty this month, focusing much-needed attention to the problems of trade inequity and intellectual property protection. The Economic and Trade Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (Link) was signed January 15, 2020. The signing of Phase 1 of this trade deal between the two countries brings new rules for commerce and intellectual property dealings aimed at equity and security in these crucial business areas.
One of the major impacts expected from the agreement is in regulations affecting duration of pharmaceutical patent protection within China. The agreement extends patent protection in China for certain patents to make up for lost market time due to delays from the patent office and Chinese health regulators. Pharmaceutical patent disputes in China are now subject to a process involving blocking sales of potential copycat medicine until all disputes are resolved, similar to the automatic 30-month block of regulatory approval in the United States during a pharmaceutical patent dispute. These changes aim to incentivize companies to conduct more research and protect current medications in development within China.
More information on this can be found here:
- “China Agrees to Tweaks on Drug Patents as Part of Trade Deal”, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-15/china-agrees-to-changes-on-drug-patents-as-part-of-trade-deal
- “Trump Signs ‘Phase 1’ China Trade Deal, But Most Tariffs Remain In Place”, https://www.npr.org/2020/01/15/796305300/trump-to-sign-phase-one-china-trade-deal-but-most-tariffs-remain-in-place