While on one hand, the Patent office seems to be treading a new path and improving their user based services, they also at the same time seem to be making the same mistakes all over again.
Today, Business Standard reports that the validity of several patents granted by the IPO to medicines, including valgancicloivir, moxifloxacin, and antipsychotic olanzapine, have been questioned by public interest groups and health advocacy firms. Alleging inefficiency, these groups have stated that none of these drugs qualify standards mentioned under the Patent Act- and are in fact mere improvements or known substances that have been granted patents again.
In brief, the evidence put forth by the groups are as follows:
Shockingly, the Chennai Patent Office has granted Valganciclovir- a medicine for HIV/ AIDS patients- a patent without hearing the pre-grant opposition filed by several public interest groups in contravention of Section 3 (d) of the Patent Act. According to Mr. Park of Lawyer’s Collective, this follows an equally shocking patent grant to known substance Famciclovir.
The Mumbai Patent Office has granted a patent to Moxifloxacin. This is a TB drug, that CENTAD (Centre for Trade & Development) researchers state is non-patentable since this second line TB drug was granted to “Bayer in Germany about 20 years ago”.
The Kolkata Patent Office has supposedly granted a patent to a polymorph of the known molecule Olanzapine: which is clearly against instructions provided for in the Guidebook for Patent Examiners.
If these allegations are indeed proven, then the patent office has to answer once again for inefficiency- a ghost that continues to haunt them.