Who in the world is filing PCTs? A gLAWcal comment on Francesca Spigarelli and Andrea Filippetti "Grasping Knowledge in Emerging Markets: is this the case of Western Pharmaceutical Companies in China?"

China is in a new position as a nation with increasing numbers of patents being filed for pharmaceutical materials every year. If you would compare the percentage increase from year-to-year, it is amongst one of the greatest increases in production amongst other developed nations. Yet, the bulk of the patents are still filled from the US. This signals that the Chinese market in this industry is in the business of creating new knowledge, worthy of intellectual property protection. Famously, the nation is not as stringent with intellectual property right protection as other developed nations. This may be an opportunity, albeit self-serving, to become more in line with other nations in this area. To observers, this should be seen simply as a positive outcome, with little room for considering this in any other light. In another area that must be considered as equally, is the need for protecting the rights holders of Traditional Chinese Medicines. Similar to the complications with properly regulating Traditional Knowledge, these TCMs are effective unowned by one individual or corporation, and instead are held collectively by all of the people of a given community. This further complicates when otherwise non-TCM IP may be considered heavily regulated and protected. It is necessarily bifurcated just the same as TK and other IP. The safety of these products should be the focus for regulators, and not necessarily who holds the sole ability to produce these products.