The Supreme Court in a recent order, dated the 1st of October, appointed Dr P.C. Chakraborty,deputy controller general of patents in the Kolkata office, as a technical member on the IPAB Panel hearing the Glivec appeal. Readers may remember that close to a month ago SpicyIP had blogged on how the Supreme Court was leaning towards the inclusion of a technical member on the IPAB panel. Additionally the Court has also ordered the IPAB to begin hearing the appeal on a daily basis from the 3rd of November. With this appointment the Court has conformed to the requirements of Section 84(2) of the Trademark Act. Originally the government wanted to appoint former patent controller Mr. Chandrashekaran as the technical member on the IPAB. Novartis had however objected to this appointment since Mr. Chandrashekaran was involved in the rejection of its patent application for Glivec. After quashing this appointment the Madras High Court very strangely, agreed with the Central Government’s request to do away with the requirement of a technical member and ordered the IPAB to hear the appeal without a technical member. Consequently Natco challenged this order in the Supreme Court since the statute required a technical member to be present on the appeal. The Supreme Court had stayed the Madras High Court order in January this year and finally concluded this round of litigation yesterday. It is quite unfortunate that the highest court of the land has had to step in and micro-manage such simple affairs. Clearly there seems to be a lack of political will to operationalize an effective mechanism to redress grievances against the order sof the patent office. With this latest round of litigation concluded we should be seeing the action heating up in Chennai for the next round of litigation. (Please click here for an extensive analysis by Shamnad of the ‘technical member’ requirement)
Last but not the least and although it is rather late in the day SpicyIP would like to wish all its readers – Eid Mubarak!