Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by Law.com, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!

X

Novartis cancer drug not innovative enough for patent, India Supreme Court rules

India seeks to prevent companies from extending patent life for drugs through incremental modifications

Pharmaceutical companies looking to protect their intellectual property in India will be none too pleased with a ruling today by the country’s Supreme Court. It found that Novartis AG’s Gleevec cancer drug wasn’t innovative enough to be awarded a patent, upholding regulatory rulings from 2006 to the present that found the same. This means that drug makers in India can continue selling generic versions of Gleevec.

Novartis argued that it invested years of research into Gleevec, specifically on modifying the molecule imatinib, to make it a safe treatment for leukemia. In denying Novartis’s patent application in 2006, the Indian Patent Office relied on a section of Indian law forbidding “evergreening,” or slightly changing the chemical makeup of a drug to extend its patent life without adding any medical benefits.  Novartis appealed this decision to India’s Supreme Court, only to have it affirmed.

Bloomberg reports that while decisions like this may be intended to expand access to drugs, they may end up hurting India’s drug industry, as companies will be reluctant to invest in research and development in the country if they can’t be sure their intellectual property will be protected.

 

Read more IP stories on InsideCounsel:

Cheat Sheet: 8 strangest lawsuits driving the 7 most noteworthy in-house career moves

IP: Federal Circuit goes all in on double patenting

IP: Why do patent cases cost so much to get through trial?

Associated Press wins copyright case

In-house counsel urge lawmakers to quell patent trolls with antitrust laws

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.