he brand name may not resemble the generic name of the drug, also known as the International Non Proprietary Name (INN), awarded by the World Health Organization (WHO). For example, the brand name CALCID for a vitamin D product would be rejected because “calci” is the INN-stem for vitamin D analogues such as alfacalcidol, calcifediol, calcitriol. Other INN-stems are azepam for diazepam derivatives -cillin for antibiotics , -cort for conticosteroids etc.

The generic name may be used by everyone to identify the drug and must be kept free. The brand name on which the proprietor has a monopoly should stay as far away from the generic name as possible. National health authorities, in addition to the WHO, also approve generic names such as ” British Approved Adopted Names” (BAN) , “Japanese Adopted Names” (JAN) or ” United States Adopted Names” ( USAN ) and are nowadays almost always identical to the INN. Some countries have legal provisions that the generic name of a drug should have a minimum size on the packaging or even needs to be shown larger than the brand name. There are countries that are committed to only depict the generic name and abolish the brand name on the packaging.

The rights of trademark holders in the process of INN selection are fully respected. Over a period of four months, a proposed INN name will be published for opposition and trademark holders may file an opposition against the INN. Also do trademark attorneys investigate the availability of an INN if the manufacturer wants to submit an INN to the WHO. The process of filing of proposed INN by the manufacturer, evaluation by WHO Expert Advisory Panel on the International Pharmacopoeia and Pharmaceutical Preparations, publication for opposition and ultimately approval of recommended INN takes, without setbacks, an average of two years. This process should therefore also be launched on time, in parallel with the brand creation process.