The Lund-based medtech company Invent Medic, which develops products that aim to improve women’s health, has received patent approval in the US for Efemia bladder support. The approval, which applies to the current version of the product, further strengthens the company’s patent and design protection portfolio.
Efemia bladder support is Invent Medic’s first product and is currently being launched on several markets around the world. An important part of the market launch is to ensure adequate IP protection, and here the company’s patent portfolio rests on two pillars. The first pillar concerns that fact that the company has patent protection for Efemia bladder support in both Europe and the USA, as well as product design protection in several markets around the world. Simply put, both belt and braces have been used to protect the product.
Strengthened patent protection in the US
Invent Medic’s strategy is to own intellectual assets that affect the products that are sold and developed. The number of patents is gradually increased as the product develops. The work to protect the second generation of bladder support is in full swing after the patent was approved in Sweden in 2020. With the latest announcement, the new version of the product will therefore have protection in the USA until 2039, at the same time as an application is being processed for the European market and the rest of the world.
»This strengthening of our patent protection for Efemia bladder support in the USA is positive for our ongoing process to establish the company in this market. Among other things, it contributes to a more favourable position when we proceed from talks to negotiations with potential business partners in the US.« — Karin Bryder, CEO, Invent Medic.
At the beginning of the year, Invent Medic also submitted a so-called priority application for the company’s upcoming product, the Efemia menstrual cup.
The design is also protected
The second pillar of the IP protection portfolio concerns design protection of the products. A design protection does not protect the product’s function as such, but rather the appearance and shape of the product in question. In order to enjoy design protection, the product must be new and different from all previously published designs. For example, one cannot obtain design protection just because of a simple change in color.
Design protection means that no one else is allowed to manufacture, sell or import copies of the protected design. The protection is valid for five years from the time the application is submitted and can be extended up to a maximum of 25 years.
Invent Medic has received design protection for the EU, Japan, China and Russia, among others, and has an application being processed for the American market. In Europe, the design of Efemia bladder protection is protected until 2043.
BioStock has contacted Invent Medical’s CEO Karin Bryder to find out more about the company’s portfolio of IP protection and about the company’s latest patent announcement.
The latest patent reinforcement applies to a further development of bladder protection. For those who have not followed your entire journey, what changes have been made since the previous version?
– When we carried out the clinical study on our bladder support, which was then called TVS, the product was perceived as ”scary.” We therefore started development work together with the industrial designer Line Andersen who developed several proposals. A panel of women got to see and feel different versions and the ultimate choice was what today is Efemia bladder support.
According to you, the protection gives you an improved position when you go from talks to negotiations with potential partners. Are such conversations ongoing right now?
– Talks with potential distributors and partners are constantly ongoing in a company like ours. I cannot tell you specifically what conversations are going on. As for the US, we have to wait for the FDA before we can start real discussions.
For those who are not so familiar with design protection, what role would you say design protection plays for you?
– Design protection has been a way to quickly protect the final product. As mentioned above, it is a bit of belt-and-braces approach but also a way to protect the product in markets where we know that a patent approval can take a long time and where we do not have protection through patent family number one.
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