Risks related to our intellectual property
Our ability to compete may decline if we do not adequately protect our proprietary rights.
We endeavor to protect our proprietary technologies and know-how by entering into confidentiality and proprietary information agreements with our employees and partners, and by setting up special procedures (e.g. with respect to the handling of the laboratory books).
Our commercial success depends on obtaining and maintaining proprietary rights to our product and product candidates, as well as successfully defending these rights against third party challenges. We will only be able to protect our product and product candidates, and their uses from unauthorized use by third parties to the extent that valid and enforceable patents, or effectively protected trade secrets, cover them. If we fail to maintain to protect or to enforce our intellectual property rights successfully, our competitive position could suffer, which could harm our results of operations.
Pharmaceutical patents and patent applications involve highly complex legal and factual questions, which, if determined adversely to us, could negatively impact our patent position. Our success will depend in part on our ability to operate without infringing the intellectual property and proprietary rights of third parties. We cannot guarantee that our business, product, product candidates and methods do not or will not infringe the patents or other intellectual property rights of third parties. There is significant litigation activity in the pharmaceutical industry regarding patent and other intellectual property rights. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.
The patent positions of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies can be highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions. The interpretation and breadth of claims allowed in some patents covering pharmaceutical compositions may be uncertain and difficult to determine, and are often affected materially by the facts and circumstances that pertain to the patented compositions and the related patent claims. The standards of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office, and other foreign counterparts are sometimes uncertain and could change in the future. If we fail to obtain and maintain patent protection and trade secret protection of our product and product candidates, we could lose our competitive advantage and the competition we face would increase, reducing any potential revenues and adversely affecting our ability to attain or maintain profitability.
We will not seek to protect our intellectual property rights in all jurisdictions throughout the world and we may not be able to adequately enforce our intellectual property rights even in the jurisdictions where we seek protection.
Filing, prosecuting and defending patents on our product and product candidates in all countries and jurisdictions throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries could be less extensive than those in the United States and Europe. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions.