Pursuant to our last post pointing to a highly egregious Delhi High Court order that came close to mandating patent linkage in contravention of existing law, a number of news reports have emerged on this theme. For those interested, please see Mint Report by Unni and Radhika; ET report by Khomba Singh, and most recently, see Peter Ollier’s report in MIP.
Interestingly, there is a short analysis in DNA by someone going by the name of “Pillman”–does anyone know who this is?
Khomba Singh of the ET did another report highlighting the fact that the Bristol Myers case was not the first case involving “patent linkage”. Rather an earlier case that had been filed by Bayer against the DCGI and Cipla was ever more troubling. Particularly since this was in the nature of a writ petition directed specifically against the DCGI (Drug Controller General of India).
Note that that Hetero case was a private law suit between BMS and Hetero and the DCGI was not even a party to this. Further the court order did not directly mandate “linkage”–rather it was couched in terms of an “expectation” that the DCGI would ensure that no patent rights were violated. As we stated in an earlier post:
“…since the DCGI is not a party to the law suit between BMS and Hetero, one might argue that he is not “technically” bound by the Delhi High Court order. However, going by a Mint news item, where the DCGI demonstrated a keenness in policing patents, one might expect the Delhi High court order to have some persuasive impact on him.”
CH Unni and Radhieka Pandeya of the Mint also report on this second Bayer vs DCGI and Cipla case, noting that:
“Meanwhile, another controversial ex parte order of December by the Delhi high court, unlike in the Hetero case, had directly asked DCGI to reject a generic drug application filed a few months ago by Cipla. Cipla has sought the revocation of that decision, as reported in the Economic Times on Monday.
Cipla had sought approval for a generic version of German multinational Bayer AG’s cancer drug Nexavar. Bayer holds a 2007 patent for this drug in India. The court order was on a writ petition filed by Bayer claiming patent violation. DCGI, as the first accused in the writ petition where Cipla is also a party, will be replying to the court in due course, and the case will come up for hearing on 19 January.”
And lastly, for those who have more of a “ear” for podcasts, I’ve discussed the above two cases at length with Jeremy Philips and Duncan Bucknell last week.