The concept of patenting an invention is often associated with mechanical inventions.  However, the availability of patent protection applies to many other types of invention, including chemical and pharmaceutical inventions.

New chemical entities are suitable subject matter for patent protection.  A chemical entity can be, for example, a new compound, a new polymer, a new salt or a new physical form of a substance.  A new chemical composition or formulation, a new manufacturing process or a new use of a chemical entity can also be suitable subject matter for patent protection.

New compounds having a pharmaceutical utility are now patentable in most countries due to international treaty implementation.  It is also possible to patent a newly discovered natural product as a pharmaceutical if it is claimed such that it is distinguished in some way from the naturally occurring product.

A pharmaceutical composition comprising a chemical entity that has not previously been used as a drug may also be suitable subject matter for patent protection.  It is also possible to claim the use of a known compound as a pharmaceutical.  Pharmaceutical compositions comprising two or more known pharmaceutically active ingredients may also be patentable.  New forms of drug delivery systems can also form the basis of a patent.

If a patented chemical has obtained regulatory approval as a pharmaceutical, it may be entitled to an additional period of patent protection by way of compensation for delay caused by the regulatory approval system.

If you require further information regarding chemical or pharmaceutical patents, or require assistance in obtaining patent protection for your chemical or pharmaceutical invention, please contact Wynnes by email ([email protected]), visit our website ( and send us a message via the contacts section, or call us on 07 3399 4625.