Novartis loses fight for cancer drug patent in India

When Indian examiners refused to grant a patent for a beta crystalline form of an anti-cancer drug sold under the brand name Glivec, the pharmaceutical giant Novartis challenged the validity of Section 3 (d) of the Indian Patents Act as Amended in 2005 as being “unconstitutional as it is vague, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the constitution (right to equality).”

Novartis also claimed that the Act did not comply with Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement.

Since no evidence was presented that the polymorph had improved properties, the Appeal bench refused to issue the declaratory statement requested by Novartis.

This ruling complements recent Israeli decisions in cases brought by Teva and Unipharm vs. Mercke where patent protection sought for new crystalline forms of known pharmaceutical compositions have been rejected.

Categories: drugs, India, Intellectual Property, Israel Patent, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

1 reply

  1. Hi Michael
    I’ve been following this over at my blog, ( – I’m really interested in the equivalent cases brought by Teva in Israel.
    Is it right to assume that the ground of invalidity in the Teva cases was obviousness?
    Could you shed some more light on what happened?
    Many thanks

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