The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the research-based pharmaceutical industry today launched a new partnership to promote the accessibility of patent information for health agencies tasked with procurement of medicines.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Thomas Cueni, Director General of the International
Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), signed an agreement
establishing the Patent Information Initiative for Medicines, or “Pat-INFORMED,” on the sidelines of the
Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO.
WIPO and IFPMA, the global trade association representing the research-based pharmaceutical industry, are co-sponsors of the initiative, which originated in the industry’s efforts to add clarity to the patent information around medicines. It couples the industry’s work in this area with WIPO’s well-established expertise in organizing patent data from across the globe.
Pat-INFORMED will clearly link public patent information to registered medicines in a new online global
gateway, helping health professionals to navigate the medicine-procurement process for the benefit of
“Pat-INFORMED will make it easier for procurement experts to assess the patent status of medicines,
underlining how a well-designed and implemented patent system incentivizes innovation while making
available and accessible key information about patented inventions,” said Mr. Gurry. “I welcome the
engagement of IFPMA and its membership in this initiative, which responds to real needs in the public
“We can proudly say that this collaboration with WIPO shows the private sector’s initiative to propose
practical solutions to reduce the complexity around patent information. Helping ease access to patent
information for public health authorities can help them establish smarter procurement strategies, one
building block of improved global health,” said Thomas Cueni, director general IFPMA.
Pat-INFORMED will act as a global gateway to medicine patent information. It will offer new tools and
resources to determine the existence of patents relevant to products sought by procurement bodies’
disease-management strategies or other work addressing public health needs.
Twenty leading global research-based biopharmaceutical companies have already committed to make
information available via a database to be established by Pat-INFORMED, with more organizations
expected to join.
“The Pat-INFORMED initiative launched today by IFPMA and WIPO is an important step to reduce
uncertainty and improve transparency in medicines procurement. By adding the information on the
global patent status from patent-holding companies to that from national patent offices, the process for
procurement agencies and others to determine the scope of patent protection for medicines will be
markedly improved. I am delighted that the pharmaceutical industry has taken this important step,” said
Trevor Mundel, President of the Global Health Division at the Gates Foundation.
While patent information is publicly available around the world, resources that directly link granted
patents to marketed medicines are currently only available publicly in certain countries (e.g. the USA’S
‘Orange Book’) or through private third-party databases.
Pat-INFORMED aims to help close these gaps, and make the management of patent issues in
procurement less time- and resource-intensive. Pat-INFORMED also offers qualified procurement
agencies a communication channel for follow-on inquiries, through which participating companies have
agreed to provide more detailed information about granted patents on specific products.
The online initiative is expected to be operational by mid-2018 and will provide patent information for
small molecule products within oncology; hepatitis C, cardiovascular, HIV, diabetes, and respiratory
therapy areas; and any products on the WHO Essential Medicines List that are not within these therapy
areas. In a second phase, the initiative will expand to all therapeutic areas and explore the inclusion of
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy,
services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 191
member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving
needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes.
It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.
IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The
research-based pharmaceutical industry’s two million employees discover, develop, and deliver
medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has
official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health
community find solutions that improve global health.
News and Media Section at WIPO
Tel: (+41 22) – 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
Fax: (+41 22) – 338 81 40
Sadia Kaenzig, IFPMA
Tel: (+41 22) – 338 32 00
Direct: (+41 22) – 338 32 49