China

– In early April 2004, the Beijing municipal government announced plans to strengthen it anti-piracy efforts. The initiative is driven by the fact that widespread sale of pirated goods in Beijing discourages foreign investment and stifles homegrown creativity. Especially targeted will be audio and video products, as well as computer software. – On July 5th, 2004, the Patent Reexamination Board of China’s State Intellectual Property Office issued a decision invalidating Pfizer’s Viagra patent. This came as a result of 13 domestic drug manufacturers requesting that the patent be invalidated after the China Patent Office had issued an invention patent to US-based Pfizer in 2001 for the use of sildenafil citrate for the treatment of erectile dysfunctions. The application had already been invalidated in the UK on the basis of three prior art documents, which were also used in this case to prove insufficiency of description and obviousness. It is reported that Pfizer is likely to appeal the decision.