Novartis India Challenge Postponed To July

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The Indian Supreme Court today postponed hearing the high-profile case involving Swiss pharmaceutical producer Novartis’ challenge of India’s patent law until July, according to sources.

According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders), the case of Novartis v. Government of India has been rescheduled to 10 July 2012.

“The reason for the much lengthier delay than anticipated is that the Mumbai terror attack case, which one of the Novartis judges is also hearing, is expected to run over schedule by a few weeks, and the court will break for its summer holidays in May,” MSF said in a release.

The case involves a challenge to India’s implementation of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), specifically Section 3(d) of the 2005 Patent Law, which is intended to prevent “evergreening” of patents by allowing patents on minor modifications of existing patented products. Novartis filed the case in national courts after rejection of patent on its product marketed as Gleevec.

A related Intellectual Property Watch background article is here: Novartis Before India’s Supreme Court: What’s Really At Stake? (IPW, Public Health, 2 March 2012).

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