As US-Korea trade talks begin, Sughrue Mion helps Korean pharmaceutical companies enter US markets

PR Newswire

As U.S. - Korea Trade Talks Begin, Sughrue Mion Helps Korean Pharmaceutical Companies Enter U.S. Markets

12 June 2006

Bilateral Trade Agreement Poised to Open Intellectual Property Opportunities

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire/ — Sughrue Mion PLLC, a leading global intellectual property law firm, announced today that the firm continues to see a strong interest from Korean pharmaceutical companies in understanding the U.S. patent system. As talks kicked-off last week in what is expected to be a fast-tracked bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, protection of intellectual property and the ability to compete effectively in the U.S. market are even more important.

"Experts expect that during the trade agreement talks, the U.S. will request that Korea enact a law similar to the U.S. Hatch-Waxman Act which provides incentives to support the development of generic versions of off- patent drugs and permit patent owners to recover time lost during FDA approval," Sunhee Lee, Of Counsel for Sughrue’s Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical Group and a registered Korean Patent Attorney, said. "It is essential that Korean pharmaceutical companies understand these issues so that they can take advantage of the benefits offered by a new trade agreement. Knowing the U.S. patent system — and how to apply patents globally — is a big part of that understanding."

Sughrue is committed to guiding their global clients — in Asia and around the world — through the complex and evolving U.S. patent system. The firm, for example, held mock trial seminars in Japan and Korea over the last two years where attorneys and corporate executives in each country were given an inside look at how the U.S. federal courts and International Trade Commission work. This analysis is especially critical because disclosure and other practices are different in Asia compared to the U.S. In addition, Mr. Callahan is a frequent speaker in Japan, Korea, India, and around the world, on pharmaceutical patent issues.

"Many Korean pharmaceutical companies want to enter the U.S. market with generic drugs," John Callahan, partner in Sughrue Mion’s Chem/Bio practice group, said. "They are also closely watching the Indian drug companies and following agreements such as the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement that establishes IP protection standards and enforcement mechanisms for WTO members. These types of issues will be thrust to the forefront if the world sees a pandemic of avian flu and drug manufacturers need to quickly produce products to treat massive disease outbreaks."

According to the Korean Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association, Korea’s total pharmaceutical exports have grown from slightly more than 500 million USD in 1997 to almost 725 million USD in 2002. With the free trade agreement in place, those figures could rise dramatically.

About Sughrue Mion, PLLC

Sughrue Mion, PLLC, is one of the largest law firms practicing exclusively in the field of intellectual property law. Based in Washington, D.C. with offices in Silicon Valley, San Diego, and Tokyo, Sughrue specializes in litigating intellectual property matters in federal district court and before the International Trade Commission. Sughrue has obtained more patents than any other firm in the country. For more information please visit http://www.sughrue.com/.

Source: Sughrue Mion PLLC

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