SpicyIP Tidbits

1. Natco (unsurprisingly) considering challenge to HC ruling on Glivec
Thanks to livemint for this article confirming that Natco is considering a challenge to the High Court ruling that India’s Intellectual Property Appeals Board may hear it’s appeal without a technical member.
For more on this dispute, click here, here and here.

2. A nice piece on music copyright infringement in India
Thanks to Ben from musiclawupdates for pointing out this Hindustan times article. The article sets out the usual arguments as to why copyright infringement in this sphere damages the industry.

3. Indian centres drive US patent rush
Here’s an interesting piece from The Economic Times which states in part:

Notably, the number of patent filings from India R&D centres have been growing over the years. It is the quality and hi-tech bit that’s changing. More and more cutting-edge products are being developed in India. While outsourcing lower-level technical jobs to India has been a practice of multinational technology firms, the increasing reliance on Indian R&D operations is a growing trend.

A government report in the US has pointed out that US patent applications from China, India, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan rose 759% during 1981-2001, while the patent applications from the US grew 116% during the same period.

4. Venus Remedies files patent for Meningitis formula
Mumbai (PTI): Pharmaceutical company Venus Remedies Ltd on Monday said it has filed for patent protection of its fourth research product – a formula for treating Meningitis – in 48 countries. Read more at The Hindu News.

5. Open Source approach could lead to more affordable drugs for the world’s poor
This fascinating piece from scidev.net looks at a proposal made last week by Samir Brahmachari, a recently appointed director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a chain of 38 government laboratories engaged in industry-oriented research. Quoting the article:
Brahmachari, who was previously director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, suggested an openly accessible website through which researchers could explore how information about the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome and other scientific data could be used to design new TB drugs.

6. GSK has doubled the number of clinical trials conducted in India in 2007

Mumbai, Nov. 25 GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals has witnessed close to a two-fold increase in its clinical trials in India. The multinational drug maker clocked about 31 trials in the country this calendar year, up from 16 in 2006.

The company had undertaken only three trials in the country, in the pre-2005 period, a GSK official told Business Line. What has changed since is the product patent regime came into effect in India from 2005, he indicated.

Interestingly, the the company is looking to bring in Phase II and Phase I trials into India as well.

Read more at The Hindu Business Online.

7. Astra’s Iressa patent rejected under new patent laws
Thanks to livemint for this one.

After hearing pre-grant oppositions filed by Indian drug companies for more than a year, the patent office in New Delhi has rejected pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s patent application for its lung cancer drug Iressa.
The patent office rejected the application citing “known prior use” of the drug, which prevents grant of a patent in India under the country’s 2005 amended patent laws.

Astra’s Indian generic rivals, Natco Pharma Ltd and J M Pharmaceuticals Ltd, had opposed the patent application citing that the drug has been in the public domain before the company filed its patent in India. Iressa is a branded formulation of the drug, known in generic terms as Gifitinib.

“We understand that India has different interpretations to patent applications, though Iressa is a patented product for Astra elsewhere in the world,” noted Staffan Ternby, a spokesman for AstraZeneca. He declined to say if the company would challenge the Indian patent office’s decision.

8. WHO funded study reveals 3.1% of drugs sold in India are counterfeit suspects
Pharmabiz reports:
In probably the first-ever survey, involving inspection of more than 10,000 samples of pharmaceutical products sold in India, 3.1 per cent are found to be counterfeit suspects valued at around Rs 1,000 crore, according to a survey funded by the World Health Organisation and conducted by SEARPharm Forum, a leading pharmacy professional organisation in the country.

The survey is based on 10,743 samples collected from 234 retail outlets in metros and district headquarters spread over 38 locations in 15 states in 5 regions. The locations were chosen based on their perceived regulatory status.

9. The subcontinent’s wealthiest 40 individuals doubled the value of their fortunes over the past year.
Read all about it at Forbes.com

10. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, we suggest you check out

11. When faces are not billboards
Thanks to the Hindu for this great piece on celebrity endorsements.
Here’s an extract:
Every advertiser in South India would dream to have Rajinikanth or Kamal Hassan endorse any product. But the two have consistently stayed away from product endorsements. This cannot be explained away as a simple personal choice. It has much more to do than warding off the seduction of easy money. It is certainly not the fear of overexposure; at least not for these two.

the free circulation of their images ensures and cuts across the class divisions. They appear to believe in the democratisation of their image. This position is politically nuanced and culturally well tuned. Such a decision pays and brings in its own benefits. The frequent and free use of images by the fans makes the point clear, that what matters in such displays is Rajinikanth and not what his image is tagged on to. Rajinikanth is the product and he is the image. So is Kamal Hassan.

12. Educomp – an unusual approach to property development – supply IP + Schools
Thanks to DNAIndia for this one:

While alliances between schools and property developers have been common from the early 1990s, real estate funds and other education providers have spotted an opportunity and are now scurrying to get a piece of the action.

“We want to acquire property and provide intellectual property to the trusts that run schools,” says Shantanu Prakash, chief executive officer of Educomp Solutions. Laws permit only trusts to manage schools.

13. Copyright notices to ISPs on the rise

Business Software Alliance has issued more than 15,000 notices to ISPs (Internet service providers) in India till September this year, on infringing activity.

Sharing this information with Business Line, the BSA’a Vice-President and Regional Director (Asia), Mr Jeff Hardee, said the monthly average notice issuance has risen from 220 in 2006 to 1,682 this year.

14. Another piece on the impressive R&D programs of India’s (generic?) pharmaceutical companies
By the Times of India
Leading companies who are developing new molecules include Ranbaxy, Glenmark and Dr Reddy’s. Over last couple of years, Indian pharmaceutical companies have stepped up their R&D spends, following a patent product regime. At present, nearly 10-12 companies have molecules under various stages of development.


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2 thoughts on “SpicyIP Tidbits”

  1. Shamnad/ Duncan,

    a) Since you have mentioned the Mint story on Iressa/ Geftinib, you would want to check this:
    I had written on the possible patent applications that were in debate here.

    b) The Natco confirmation for appealing against the non tech member IPAB is not clear from the Mint link.
    Could you please re-check if it indeed is the same link?


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