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Keywords:

  • information;
  • access to medicines;
  • developing countries;
  • pharmaceuticals

It has been reported that pharmaceutical patents account for a significant part of patents worldwide. In order to appraise pharmaceutical patents in Jordan, preliminarily-accepted patents published in the Official Gazette over the past 20 years were screened, and the bibliographic data of the identified pharmaceutical patents were entered into a custom built database. Of the 973 patents published since 1992, 36% were identified as pharmaceutical patents. However, the contribution from domestic applicants was modest accounting for a mere 7% of pharmaceutical patents. Data analysis has revealed that the contribution of pharmaceutical patents to published patents has doubled upon the enactment of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)-consistent Patent Law of 1999, from 24% to 48%. However, the increase in the patenting activity in the pharmaceutical sector was not accompanied by an increase in the overall patenting activity. Further analysis has revealed the leading applicants, the patent status, and the main categories of published pharmaceutical patents. It was concluded that pharmaceutical patents account for a significant part of patents in Jordan, with marginal contribution from domestic applicants. It was also noted that the currently adopted patent information system could be further improved by the introduction of electronic search services.