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Saint-Petersburg, 19-21 of May, 2015

Head of Legal Department Anna Sologubova shares her experience in IP-protection at the Adam Smith Pharmaceutical Forum

Head of Legal Department Anna Sologubova with 15-years expertise in law, delivered a speech at the XXI Russian Pharmaceutical Forum organized by Adam Smith Institute. At the workshop "Legal Environment 2015" Anna  spoke about how to build an intellectual property management system on the example of Invar.

Her speech consisted of 3 blocks:

  • Importance of intellectual property to the company's business
  • Establishing an efficient intellectual property management system in the company
  • Intellectual property: strategy and tactics of protection/attack, case studies

“Before starting any business you need to understand why you do this. In the example with the intellectual property, there are financial reasons to it. It is hard to express advantages of intellectual property in figures - it is more about the investment attractiveness of a company as a whole, its intellectual capital and protection against fraud. But the damage caused by loss or infringement of rights is immediately calculated in millions of rubles,” said  Anna in her speech and provided an example. “Under a court ruling, the state registration of a drug or a medical device can be cancelled. This means immediate termination of sales and impossibility to further use the brand. In the worst case, you may completely lose the brand. For a company it means not only significant losses, but damaged goodwill and loss of income at the same time.”

To avoid such situations, the company should have a clearly established intellectual property management system. Anna suggested starting building such a system with an internal audit.  To start with, you need to systematize all information about brands, create a brand register, analyse all relevant documents. Then you should explore the current business process of creating, processing and use of brands, validate the procedures for compliance with the current legislation. Stage number two is the introduction of a management system. During this period, you need to develop and implement standards for working with brands as objects of intellectual property, establish appropriate policies and procedures, so that each employee understands how to act in a given situation. For this stage to be effective, you may conduct an appropriate training and show employees how to work with new documents, including projects common for departments. You can also develop appropriate checklists and visual materials for better perception of the information. At the final stage, which is called "Monitoring and Control", you need to check how the documents work in practice and, if necessary, adjust them. An essential element of this stage is regular audits.

This system will not only allow to identify inconsistencies in the business process, but also to avert risks from the moment of trademark registration. Anna gave examples of court cases where companies were operating with identical or similar names of products and later paid penalties for that. She shared her experience of how to prevent such situations at the stage of trademark registration and how to manage them if the incident still occurred.

Background

Invar is a national pharmaceutical company with expertise in selecting, marketing and selling products for care and treatment. The company offers solutions in "Women's Health" and " Self-Medication ". Invar portfolio comprises 4 European quality brands. These include a line of nonhormonal products to treat common skin disorders Skin-cap, a serum for fighting nail fungus Mycosan, a new molecule for treatment of herpes simplex labialis Erazaban, and a line for intimate hygiene Epigen Intim.

At year-end 2014, Invar ranked among TOP-50 pharmaceutical companies by its sales. The company outpaced the market by 33%, with its evolution index (i.e., change in share of market volume) being one of the highest in the rating. Over the past four years, the company's sales have increased from 700 million rubles up to 3 billion rubles.

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