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Nano Chinese Herbal Medicine Patenting in China: Industrial Applicability as the Benchmark in Assessing Patentability
Volume 8, Issue 2

Jerry I-H Hsiao

The importance of Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) both economically and therapeutically has prompted the Chinese government to develop CHM into an industry. The application of how nanotechnology can be applied to CHM is deemed to be a new field of study. While nano application might bring significant improvement to the efficacy of CHM, it also comes with potential side effects. As the characteristics of this emerging technology are still unpredictable, it is important to assess the way patent policy is shaped to foster the growth of this nascent industry. This article investigates the situation of patenting nano CHM in China and questions whether patents can foster its innovation. This article suggests that many of the current nano CHM patents are wrongfully awarded with overbroad scope without knowing the industrial applicability (utility in the U.S.) of the invention. The number of these dubious nano CHM patents is not insignificant and the inherent issue of submarine patents used by patent trolls is a cause of concern. Hence, this article recommends that nano CHM patents should only be awarded to inventions with real use to decrease the ostentatious number of patents with doubtful industrial applicability.

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