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Patent Linkage in China: up, running and with Chinese characteristics

As one of the most significant IP developments in China, the Fourth Amendment to the PRC Patent Law introduced patent linkage for pharmaceutical patent litigation in China. A full set of rules implementing the patent linkage system has finally been released and immediately came into force in the first week of July. 

These rules will likely incentivise both innovators and generic companies and further shape their regulatory, litigation and competitive strategies. The patent linkage system is designed with marked Chinese characteristics, taking into account the existing practices and judicial economy of patent litigation as well as broader healthcare policy imperatives in China. Generic competition will, in all likelihood, be intensified in light of the patent linkage litigation.