Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights are key to our business

At Roche, we are turning advances in medical and data science into innovative diagnostics and life-changing treatments for patients. With our innovation model, Roche is strongly 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. We encourage governments with strong IP protection to maintain their commitment and those of developing countries to consider the role IP can play in the transition to an innovation-based economy delivering societal benefits and growth. 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.

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 benefits from the development of a medicine far beyond the period of patent protection; e.g. over 30 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, anti-malarials and medicines 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 are all expected to:
  • Safeguard and protect Roche’s intellectual property rights.
  • Respect the intellectual property rights of third parties and clarify the situation with the experts in case of doubts.
Questions & Answers

What can I do as an employee of Roche to safeguard intellectual property rights for our innovations?

Whenever you become aware of a patentable invention or any other innovation which can be protected by any other form of intellectual property rights, you should contact the patent, trademark or legal department for further advice. For any scientific publications you need to get approval from the patent department.

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 the patent department.

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.