Key Hepatitis C Patent Rejected In India For Lack Of Novelty, Inventive Step

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.


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