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The trademarks for pharmaceutical products


Giulia Tagliafico 
European and Italian Patent and Trademark Attorney
Rome, Italy

Simona Venturini 
IP documentation specialist
Meda, Italy

“How many names has a drug?” A first instinct answer could be “too many!” This is one of the main problems for those beginning to approach the world of drugs. A second more reasoned answer to the previous question could be that a drug has at least two names, the name of its active ingredient (its INN, International Non-proprietary Name) and its commercial name (i.e. a registered or not registered trademark), taking into account that for some generic drugs such two names may coincide.

The official, unique, public name, recognized worldwide, is the INN and it is very important to identify without any doubt pharmaceuticals or active ingredients for drug preparations. The request for an INN must be submitted directly to the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, in this article, we will focus on the trademark of a drug and, in particular, on the specific requirements that trademarks in the pharmaceutical sector need to have to be registered by the trademark offices, with particular focus to EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office).

In general, the names that constitute a trademark must be < ...

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