Japan plans to extend patent term for regenerative medicines - Nikkei

Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:17pm EST

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Feb 12 (Reuters) - Japan plans to extend patents on regenerative medicines to up to 25 years from 20 years to encourage research and development, the Nikkei reported.

Skin, corneas, muscle, cartilage and other tissue cultured for transplant surgery are expected to become subject to patent, the newspaper said. (r.reuters.com/kuw76v)

These and other regenerative medicines will have a patent classification separate from pharmaceuticals, the Nikkei said.

The extension will allow companies providing regenerative medicines to recover development costs, the newspaper said.

The term on other medical products such as artificial hearts would remain 20 years, the Nikkei said.

Currently, pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals are granted patent of up to 25 years due to the lengthy approval process, according to the daily.

The U.S. patent law already provides for a maximum term of 25 years for regenerative medical products, the newspaper said.

The Japan Patent Office will appoint a committee of experts on Thursday to decide on the issue and an enforcement order is expected by fall, the Nikkei said. (Reporting by Aurindom Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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