Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights are key to our business

With our discovery, development and delivery of innovative medicines and diagnostics we help to treat serious and life-threatening diseases. With its business model, Roche is dependent on intellectual property rights and their efficient protection.

Intellectual property laws protect Roche’s valuable assets – our patents, trademarks, regulatory data, copyrights, trade secrets, domain names and related rights. Roche supports initiatives which are designed to foster a legal and regulatory environment which protects intellectual property rights.

Roche is committed to respecting the intellectual property rights of third parties. Roche expects that all its employees take the intellectual property rights of third parties into due consideration in their daily work.

Whenever our intellectual property rights are violated, Roche defends its rights. Violation of intellectual property rights does not only harm the assets of Roche, but in many cases is also a threat to the health and safety of patients; e.g. counterfeit pharmaceutical and diagnostic products are illegal and pose a significant global public health problem. Roche undertakes appropriate measures against counterfeits within the sphere of its influence.

Public health takes advantage of the development of a medicine far beyond the period of patent protection; e.g. more than twenty medicines developed by Roche are deemed Essential Medicines by the World Health Organization (WHO). Almost all of them are no longer under patent protection and include lifesaving antibiotics, antimalarials and medicine for chemotherapy. These products would not exist without a robust patent system which encourages investments in innovation. They are witness to Roche’s substantial and sustained contribution to global health even after loss of exclusivity.

We recognise that flexibility around patents in some of the poorest countries can help broaden access to medicines. For that reason, we do not file for new patents or enforce existing patents in least developed countries, as defined by the United Nations, or in low-income countries, as defined by the World Bank.

We are all expected to:
  • Protect Roche’s intellectual property rights.
  • Respect the intellectual property rights of third parties and to clarify the situation with the experts in case of doubts.
Questions & Answers

Why are intellectual property rights key for Roche’s business?

Intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks, regulatory data, copyrights, trade secrets and domain names are valuable assets of our business. They enable us to pursue our business model of innovation.

What can I do as an employee to protect Roche’s intellectual property rights?

Whenever you become aware that any of Roche’s intellectual property rights are violated by a third party, speak up and inform your Line Manager. Your contribution helps to protect Roche’s valuable assets.

I work in the Marketing Department and would like to copy an article from a scientific magazine and to distribute it to the participants of a workshop. Am I allowed to do so?

You have to keep in mind that copyrights of third parties have to be taken into due consideration on a case-by-case basis. If you have any doubts about the copyright situation, seek clarification from the Copyright Checkpoint on the Roche intranet.

Further Informations

Further information and guidance: Roche Position Paper on Counterfeiting; Roche Brochure “Improving access: overcoming barriers”; Roche Directive on the Protection of Digital Content Copyrights. These documents can be found on the Roche intranet (website of Group Legal Department). In addition, the book “Lifesavers for millions” has been published by Editiones Roche.
Speak up: If you believe in good faith that in connection with a business where Roche is involved someone has done, is doing, or may be about to do something that violates the provisions regarding intellectual property rights, speak up by using the available speak up channels.