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    Landmark India IP Board Decision Against Hepatitis C Drug Patent

    Published on 4 November 2012 @ 10:44 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Patralekha Chatterjee for Intellectual Property Watch

    India last week saw a landmark public health decision on the evolving role of intellectual property rights in the context of the public interest.

    The country’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) revoked a patent granted in India to F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Roche) for pegylated interferon alfa-2a (Pegasys), a medicine used to treat Hepatitis C.

    The IPAB decision is here

    The case has generated significant interest because it breaks ground in two ways: the patent granted to Roche in 2006 was the first product patent on a medicine in India after the country switched to a product patent regime for medicines as mandated by the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). It is also India’s first successful post-grant opposition case.

    While welcoming the IPAB’s decision, Eldred Tellis, director of Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, a non-governmental organisation which had challenged the patent, told Intellectual Property Watch: “In short term, we will have to look for those interested in producing a biosimilar which will be available at for possibly 8 to 10 times less than Pegasys.” In the long-term, Tellis said he hopes the Indian government will wake up to the seriousness of the problem of Hepatitis C in the country. “There is a need to produce it cheaply, and give it free to those who need it,” he added.

    Sankalp works with injecting drug users who often suffer from Hepatitis C. It had filed for a post-grant opposition challenging the patent with help from India’s Lawyers’ Collective HIV and AIDS Unit. India’s Patent Law allows pre-grant and post-grant opposition. In 2009, Sankalp’s post-grant opposition was rejected by the Patent Office. Undeterred, Sankalp filed an appeal before the IPAB challenging the decision.

    Whether the IPAB decision will trigger more post-grant oppositions remains to be seen.

     

    Comments

    1. India Invalidates Roche Hepatitis C Patent says:

      [...] to an article at IP Watch, this patent was “the first product patent on a medicine in India after the country switched [...]

    2. – Historic Ruling Against First Modern Drug Patent In India says:

      [...] can ill afford. Intellectual Property Watch reports on another instance of the Indian authorities easing the way for low-cost versions by striking down a patent granted to Roche for the treatment of Hepatitis C. As the article explains, it’s notable for at least two [...]

    3. USPTO Continues to Fail Where India is Succeeding | Techrights says:

      [...] Patent-hostile site IP Watch also covered it: [...]


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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