As expected, CIPLA filed its response, counterclaiming invalidity (that the patent over Tarceva was not valid). The lawyers representing the parties are as follows:
CIPLA: Arguments by Arun Jaitley (former law minister). Briefing Counsel : Pratibha Singh
Roche: Arguments by Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Congress spokesperson). Briefing law firm Depenning&Depenning
The matter was part heard and will be taken up again tomorrow.
In the meantime, Professor Martin Adelman of GW law school brings to my attention that there are two patents covering Tarceva that have been listed in the Orange Book. US Patent No’s 5747498 and 6900221.
The Indian litigation involves Indian Patent No. 196774 (the ‘774 patent) issued by the Delhi Patent Office against the mail-box Application No. 537/DEL/1996 filed March 13, 1996 (thanks to Varun Chhonkar of Patent Circle for this). Since the ‘498 US patent is a 1996 filing, this must be the one which is equivalent to the Indian Patent for Tarceva (‘221 patent in the US has a 1999 filing). Since we don’t have an Indian Patent Database, for those interested, take a look at the ‘498 patent (US) to see what the patent is really about and what the claims are.