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Challenges and patenting strategies for Chinese herbal medicine

By Xinsheng Wang and Albert Wai-Kit Chan


Patents for Chinese herbal medicines can be difficult to obtain. When the active ingredients of an herbal formula are known, danfang (single herb prescriptions) is better protected with quantified composition claims. When the active ingredients are unknown, 'product by processing', 'method of processing', 'method of administration' and 'new use claims' are often powerful tools to distinguish a traditional danfang from 'the prior art'. Additional patents may also be filed continuously in the product development process. Existing patents for fufang (composite prescriptions) are primarily drafted to protect traditional herbal formulations. More efforts are needed to protect various herbal combinations and their multiple applications

Topics: Commentary
Publisher: BioMed Central
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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