Spicy IP Tidbit: Patent Reform in the USA, happy pharma companies in India

An interesting piece by Benedetto Della Vedova on the Patent Reform Act about to be passed in America. Read the full piece here.

The relevance of this to us in India is that apart from the inclusion of the first to file approach is the introduction of the post-grant review process.

Perhaps most damaging, the Patent Reform Act provides a post-grant review process that allows any patent to be challenged ad infinitum. This would increase costs for inventors and jeopardize the value of patents. Significantly, the standard for revoking a patent in this process would be lowered from the current “clear convincing evidence” standard to a “preponderance of the evidence.”

Foreign businesses are already preparing to take advantage of post-grant reviews. “Seeking invalidation of patents is likely to be a part of the patent strategy that Indian generics companies may follow in the U.S.,” predicted the secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance DG Shah in the Economic Times.

Post-grant reviews, coupled with the current practice of governments like Brazil’s and Thailand’s authorizing the theft of patents through compulsory licensing, would damage the American manufacturing industry by helping foreign manufacturers cheaply sell generics. American firms that undertake the costly research required to develop new technology would never be able to match the low prices of these competitors.

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