Today’s rejection by the Patent Office Controller of India of a
patent application by Gilead company for a key drug against hepatitis C
is being hailed by advocates as a path to dramatically lower costs of
treatment for the disease. Hepatitis C has made news for the emergence
of exorbitantly priced medicines over the past year. A look at the
decision shows that a provision in India’s law continues to stop patent
applications if they fail to show sufficient novelty and inventive step –
and are subject to opposition.
The patent office decision dated 13 January is available here [pdf].
The decision states that
oppositions to several patent applications on sofosbuvir were filed by
the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), and the
Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), in November 2013 and March
2014, arguing that they were not sufficiently novel and inventive as
required for a patent. Gilead then made arguments explaining why these
oppositions were not valid.
Labels: Inida, patent, Sofosbuvir, World Intellectual Property Organization