India: patent that Novartis sought for Gleevec did not represent a true invention
In Monday’s decision, India’s Supreme Court ruled that the patent that Novartis sought for Gleevec did not represent a true invention. The ruling is something of an historic anomaly. Passed under international pressure, India’s 2005 patent law for the first time allowed for patents on medicines – but only for drugs discovered after 1995. In 1993, Novartis patented a version of Gleevec that it later abandoned in development, but the Indian judges ruled that the early and later versions were not different enough for the later one to merit a separate patent.
From an AP story: Pratibha Singh, a lawyer for the Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla, which makes a version of Glivec for less than a tenth of the original drug's selling price, said the court ruled that a patent could only be given to a new drug, and not to those which are only slightly different from the original.
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