Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates engaged by Malta Enterprise to compile and co-ordinate the Malta Medicinal Pharmaceutical Patent Directory

In the launch of the Medicinal Directory on 08/07/2009, Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech as well as Malta Enterprise thanked Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates for their dedicated and meticulous work in the compilation of the Malta Pharmaceutical Directory. The Directory was compiled by a team of IP lawyers and IP administrators¬† headed by Dr Maria Chetcuti Cauchi is well as the firm’s in-house pharmaceutical and technical consultant Lilian Wismayer which team worked for one a half years on laborious task of transferring data from manually compiled registries to an electronic database.

In the launch ceremony that took place on 08/07/2009 at the Hilton in Portomaso Marina, Minister Tonio Fenech opened the event and welcomed the launch of the directory as another tool in Malta’s marketing efforts to promote this industry. The Minister thanked Malta Enterprise for spinning off this initiative, Commerce Division IP office for their collaboration and Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates for their work and effort to organise and close off this project.

Dr Chetcuti Cauchi and Ms Lilian Wismayer gave a presentation on the use of the director and covered the legal and technical aspects involved in this work. Mr. Godwin Warr, DG Commerce division, gave a presentation on general patent law and patent filings in Malta.

By way of background, its important to note that in 2007, Malta acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the European Patent Convention (EPC) which facilitated the acquisition of Patent protection in more than one country at the same time. In that same year the Commerce Division implemented the Soprano system for patents so that all patents received as from 2007 to-date have been captured into a dedicated database. However this left a gap in that any patent that were filed and published prior to 2007 could only be accessed manually. Therefore in April 2007, Malta Enterprise and the Commerce Division have commissioned Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates to compile an electronic directory of patents of medicinal products that have been filed in & published by the Malta Intellectual Property Directorate in the last 20 years. This directory seeks to bridge the gap between the date of implementation of the Soprano Patent system (2007) and earlier paper-based patent filings which are still valid to-date. It is intended that this Directory will serve to facilitate easier access to patents by the pharmaceutical industry, particularly medicinal products.

During his brief address, Minister Fenech highlighted the benefits that such an industry gains through its presence on our island, ranging from effective legislation to a well-trained workforce. Tonio Fenech added that Government is seeking to refine such skills within its workforce, through specific programmes that will provide future employees of this industry with a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge necessary for a career in industrial laboratory work. Minister Fenech concluded Government is seeking further growth in the pharmaceutical sector; a sector that contributes to the value added of the economy which in the span of a few years has had to shift its emphasis from traditional high-volume and low-value manufacturing activities to highly specialised activities.

The launch was hosted by Malta Enterprise and it also served as an opportunity for those involved in the pharmaceutical sector to network, as well as to raise and discuss any issues related to the sector.