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Pharmaceutics 2011, 3(4), 914-922; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics3040914

Formulation Patents and Dermatology and Obviousness

Fordham University School of Law, 140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023, USA
Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, 114 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 11 November 2011 / Accepted: 14 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transdermal Drug Delivery)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [193 KB, uploaded 21 November 2011]


Most patents covering dermatologic products contain patent claims directed to the pharmaceutical formulation of the product. Such patents, known as formulation patents, are vulnerable to attacks based on the legal argument that the formulations covered are obvious over formulations already known prior to the filing of the patent application. Because obviousness is an important concept in patent law, recent court cases concerning obviousness and formulation patents were examined and discussed below. Courts have ruled that patent claims are obvious when features of the claimed formulation are found in the prior art, even if the features or characteristics of the formulation are not explicitly disclosed in the prior art. However, patentees have successfully overcome obviousness challenges where there were unexpected results or properties and/or the prior art taught away from the claimed invention.
Keywords: patents; formulation; obviousness patents; formulation; obviousness
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mei, D.-F.; Liu, J.; Davitz, M.A. Formulation Patents and Dermatology and Obviousness. Pharmaceutics 2011, 3, 914-922.

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