Patent Protection of Chinese Herbal Medicine Inventions in Taiwan
In contrast to Western medicinal inventions, which can identify a chemical substance as an effective ingredient, the active ingredients in Chinese herbal medicine inventions are mostly unknown and difficult to be separated and purified into a single active substance with a specific chemical structure. The basic theory of Chinese herbs differs from that of Western medicine, and the features of single or compound formulae seen in Chinese herbal medicine are not common in Western medicine inventions. Thus it is not entirely appropriate to apply the same criteria and practice adopted in the examination of pharmaceutical patent applications to the definition and examination of the claims of Chinese herb patent applications. In view of the above characteristics of Chinese herbs, the Examination Guidelines for Chinese Herb-Related Invention Patents is hereby constituted as the basis for examination of Chinese herb-related invention patent applications by Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO). This article focuses on how to get the patent protection of Chinese herbal medicine inventions in Taiwan.