Patenting known substances: The problem with polymorphs

In nature, every molecule rearranges itself into different crystalline forms or shapes. Unsurprisingly, the ability of a molecule to mimic without losing its basic properties took the interest of such molecules into the helms of industrial and pharmaceutical applications research. The polymorphic transition of certain inorganic, biological and pharmaceutical compounds leads to understanding these compounds to find their optimal use in the pharmaceutical, pigment, agrochemical, explosive or fine chemical industries.

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Authored by DPS Parmar, this article discusses the patent eligibility of polymorphs in India, U.S. and Europe. The article further expounds on the challenges faced by polymorph patent applications in various jurisdictions.