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How do innovations work with medical patents?

azith28azith28 Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in Help / Advice Forum

So, how does this work...

Lemme give some made up examples of what im talking about.

Say my dad is visiting, and goes to the bathroom to brush his teeth, but due to failing eyesight brushes his teeth with hemeroid cream. The next morning his teeth are super white!

Say ive got a burn or cut and you go to treat it, and since your out of the standard stuff like alcohol or ointment you look around for the closest thing...say a product that you know has alcohol in it like mouthwash and dab some of that on the wound, then the next day the injury is healing at an amazing rate compared to what you would normally use it for.

I'm fairly sure you couldnt just rebottle the stuff under a different name but i have no idea about medical patents...are the patents specific for the purpose they are made for? could you pour that mouthwash into another bottle and resell it as a burn treatment because the makers of the mouthwash only got a patent and medical allowances to produce and sell it as a mouthwash? It seems to me you cant patent formulas like this or coke and KFC wouldnt be going to such lengths to keep the secret receipes secret.

Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
azith28 on

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    CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Medical patents are limited in duration. The only stuff that's still under patent protection are, in general, prescription drugs for fairly specific purposes. Almost anything that you can buy over-the-counter and certainly anything that's already sold under a hundred brand names (like the products you mentioned) aren't covered by patents anymore (if, in fact, they ever were).

    But if you want to stay out of the homeopathy aisle you'll have to go through the entire FDA approval process to get whatever claims you have with regard to mouthwash verified prior to putting them on your packaging. It would probably also behoove you to do enough testing to determine which of the things in mouthwash is actually doing whatever you think it's doing so that you're not selling peppermint-flavored topical antibiotic for no reason.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    I'm not sure you understand what patents are. Listerine doesn't have a patent on mouthwash, and the ingredient list is on the label. You would run into trouble buying a bottle right off the shelf, slapping your own label on it and reselling it, but there's nothing stopping you from doing your own research on what combination of ingredients gives it super healing powers, and then mix up your own product.

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    FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    Talk to a lawyer.

    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
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    DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2012
    I think you're also grossly underestimating the work involved in actually demonstrating that something has the medical effect you think it has. Just because your father got whiter teeth after accidentally using hemorrhoid cream to brush with, that doesn't mean the cream cause it or even if it did, that you've proven that it's safe without any unnecessary side effects. Without some solid research, you're basically just marketing something like Airborne and selling a "supplement" that isn't proven to actually do anything because you can't back up your claims. Just because an effect followed an event, it doesn't mean the event caused the effect.

    It's hard to tell if you think you've discovered some new use for an existing product, or if you're wanting to try and find new uses for existing products. Either way, I suspect you're wasting your time because it sounds like you don't really understand what you're doing.

    There's also the simple fact that you're not going to make any reasonable profit by buying Listerine and then repackaging it as something else for a different purpose. Unless you know the formula and you have the means to produce it in sufficient quantity for retail, you're just sending all your potential profit to the company that makes the product you're repackaging and reselling.

    Druhim on
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Also unless you've got a decade and a few million dollars in venture capital to throw around you'll never get the FDA to sign off most of that stuff either.

    Not that it'll stop you from making cash with an "As seen on TV" kind of deal, but those historically don't really pay out for the people that actually invented about 85% of that stuff.

    are YOU on the beer list?
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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Oh i dont expect to do anything about it, im just curious how these things happen. I certainly dont have the background to know if it really is a miracle cure compared to other stuff, I just found it to work amazingly well compared to what it was suppose to be used for (and compared to other alternatives).

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Your forum post possibly started the novelty bar running if you did stumble upon something patentable, so I'd consult sooner asap with a patent prosecution attorney.

    kaliyama on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    having established that you aren't going to be able to make money from patenting and selling this, can you now tell us what you're talking about?

    let's not be greedy. share your newfound cure with the world.

    sC4Q4nq.jpg
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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Eh, i guess.

    Listerine Total control w/whitening. (The purple bottle). I've had a few occasions to try it out after the first accidental usage on cuts and burns and it is amazingly effective. I dont know if regular listerine does the same.

    examples: 1) I had an acne breakout on a morning i had to shave, so that left a large red mess on my face but a dab of this stuff reduced the swelling and made it virtually invisible within 20 minutes. 2) I was moving a large TV down a narrow hallway one of the knuckles on my hand ran along the wall giving me a wicked brush burn that turned into an ugly dime sized round burn nestled down on the 2nd or third layer of my skin. a bit of this stuff and it reduced to a third of its size overnight. I've had similar burns before and they took weeks to heal completely using ointment.

    Go nuts.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Medical patents are limited in duration. The only stuff that's still under patent protection are, in general, prescription drugs for fairly specific purposes. Almost anything that you can buy over-the-counter and certainly anything that's already sold under a hundred brand names (like the products you mentioned) aren't covered by patents anymore (if, in fact, they ever were).

    But if you want to stay out of the homeopathy aisle you'll have to go through the entire FDA approval process to get whatever claims you have with regard to mouthwash verified prior to putting them on your packaging. It would probably also behoove you to do enough testing to determine which of the things in mouthwash is actually doing whatever you think it's doing so that you're not selling peppermint-flavored topical antibiotic for no reason.

    To be fair, menthol is a fucking wonder drug. Have restless legs? Dab some peppermint extract on the source/temples.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    Historically, that's nothing new. Listerine was initially created as an antiseptic for sterilizing medical tools. It makes sense that an antiseptic would also assist in curing topical ailments like acne (which is caused by bacteria) and scrapes. Nowadays we use "triple antibiotic," though, as it lasts longer and doesn't dry up under a bandage.

    If you have a bad pimple, putting some triple antibiotic on it before you go to bed often helps a great deal. It's just a shiny goop so it's not so great when you're out and about.

    Anyway, to your original point, these type of alternatives are not patentable. The patent is for the actual formulation, while the uses or side effects are simply documented and reviewed. For example, Viagra's erection-causing abilities are not what's patented, but rather the formulation of Viagra itself. The erection-causing effect is actually a side-effect that's simply more profitable.

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    DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    http://usesforeverydaythings.com/listerine-mouthwash/listerine/

    Pretty sure it's not really innovative. Just not what it's marketed for.

    Daenris on
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    DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Yeah. Congratulations! You discovered that an antiseptic is..antiseptic. Thing is, if you have a cut or burn that you want to put antiseptic on, antiseptic creams that are actually made for that purpose are even better than some Listerine. Because they're actually designed for topical use instead of for mouthwash.

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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    I knew it was antiseptic, ive used antiseptic before, hence my mention of having the similar burn mark that lasted weeks using the standard stuff compared to one night with the listerine.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    GenlyAiGenlyAi Registered User regular
    There are two kinds of patents that would be potentially cover something like this. Composition of matter patents cover the specific material present in the Listerine bottle (down to the level of having patents on specific molecules, if any are novel). Companies will try to maintain current composition of matter patents by making small changes to the formula when their previous ones run out, so probably the contents of the bottle are themselves under patent. But probably the patent could be circumvented without much trouble if you were to formulate your own.

    Second, there are use patents, which are a class of method patents for stuff like "Using Listerine to make your breath not stink", or (possibly) "Using Listerine to make your burn marks go away real fast". Therefore, in principle, it is possible for you to get a patent on use here, assuming a) ListerineCo hasn't already got one, and b) it is judged non-obvious by the patent office. In this case, where you seem to be claiming that you have discovered a wound-healing activity that is above and beyond its use as an antiseptic, I would imagine you would be in some complicated legal waters.

    Anyway, all that is moot, because in order for you to market this for wound-healing, you would need FDA approval, and the cost of obtaining that, as mentioned above, is a few (or more like a few tens to hundreds of) million dollars. Possibly you could sell it as a health supplement, but that would mean you couldn't make your wound-healing claim, which is essentially all you have to differentiate yourself anyway.

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    DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Well, none of that really matters because again, all he's done is discovered that antiseptic acts as an antiseptic. He hasn't discovered anything at all.

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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Historically, that's nothing new. Listerine was initially created as an antiseptic for sterilizing medical tools. It makes sense that an antiseptic would also assist in curing topical ailments like acne (which is caused by bacteria) and scrapes. Nowadays we use "triple antibiotic," though, as it lasts longer and doesn't dry up under a bandage.

    If you have a bad pimple, putting some triple antibiotic on it before you go to bed often helps a great deal. It's just a shiny goop so it's not so great when you're out and about.

    Anyway, to your original point, these type of alternatives are not patentable. The patent is for the actual formulation, while the uses or side effects are simply documented and reviewed. For example, Viagra's erection-causing abilities are not what's patented, but rather the formulation of Viagra itself. The erection-causing effect is actually a side-effect that's simply more profitable.

    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/improvement-patents-new-use-patents-30250.html

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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    Druhim wrote: »
    Well, none of that really matters because again, all he's done is discovered that antiseptic acts as an antiseptic. He hasn't discovered anything at all.
    More to the point that _supposedly_ it made a burn heal much faster, seemingly weeks faster than stuff that is supposed to be used for topical application. The number of other variables in play, right down to the OP misremembering how bad the original burn was, which is why it took so much longer than the one that got listerined, is immense. A lot of people swear that colloidal silver makes wounds heal extra fast and well, despite actual research showing little effect at all.

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