Everything you need to know about medical device patents and how they protect innovations in the medical field!
Medical device patents are used as a method to help legally protect medical inventions and medical innovations that are related to the medical field.
Developing any products in the medical field is expensive, time-consuming, and involves following a lot of different procedures and processes. You can't just develop a medical product and start selling it.
In the following article, we'll look at medical device patents, what they are, and why they're so crucial to medical companies that are developing new devices and products.
Protecting Medical Devices Through the Use of Patents
From the start of the development process through to testing and approval, it can take anywhere from three to seven years to release a new medical device. It's understandable that if you're a medical company investing that much time or money into a new medical device, you would want to ensure that it can't be copied.
That's where medical device patents enter the picture.
While you need to have a basic understanding of the natural laws of biology, and medical devices are based on those laws, those laws can't themselves be patented.
The patent process can be time-consuming and complicated, but it's essential for medical companies to protect their intellectual property and compete in this highly competitive field.
It's important to note that obtaining a medical patent only protects the device from being copied by another person or company. It doesn't grant the patent holder permission to sell the device to the public. The FDA has a complete guide to the process of getting approval to market and sell a medical device here.
The Requirements for a Medical Device Patent
The primary requirement for any medical device patent is novelty. What does novelty mean? It means that the device applying for the patent must be a brand-new device that hasn't been previously disclosed.
For the medical device to qualify as a novel product, it can't have appeared in prior art, which includes patents, trade brochures, or advertisements. If the medical device has appeared in any of these, it won't be eligible for a medical device patent.
Keeping any potentially new medical devices off the radar is extremely important until you have applied for your patent. There are several reasons for this.
First, a competitor could beat you to the patent process.
Secondly, someone could accidentally release your medical device to the public, making it ineligible for a patent.
To learn more about the US prior-art patents, you can check out the US Patent and Trademark Office website for more information.
As soon as you complete your medical device invention, you should immediately apply for your patent. But first, it's vital to search for other similar patents before you invest too much time and money into your invention. It would be a shame to find out that someone else has already patented a similar product after all that work.
Why Are Patents a Necessary Part of Product Development for Medical Companies?
Medical companies and pharmaceutical companies invest a lot of time and money into developing new medical devices and drugs. By securing a patent for their medical device, companies can prevent other companies from:
Recreating their medical device.
Copying or using a copy of their medical device.
Importing copies of their medical device.
In most countries, including the United States, your medical device patent will last for 20 years.
The patent processing time can take up to three years to complete. It's also important to note that a patent that is granted in the United States doesn't provide you with any protection in countries other than the United States. If you want to protect your medical device in other countries where you plan on selling your device, you'll need to apply for a patent in those countries.
Legally Protecting Inventions and Innovations Related to the Medical Field – Conclusion
The costs and time associated with securing a patent on any medical device can be a considerable investment. If your patent application involves multiple claims or any litigation, it can increase the costs and time associated with the patent application.
However, considering how much time and money is spent developing new medical devices, a patent is vital to protect your investment and ensure you receive compensation for your invention.
Laxxon Medical is dedicated to engineering patented 3D pharmaceutical solutions that optimize products and benefit patients. Our goal is to establish SPID®-Technology as a manufacturing process with the individual and the pharmaceutical partner in mind.
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