Novartis Glivec Patent Case: Preliminary Objection


After Justice Bhandari’s recusal, the Novartis (Glivec) Patent case came up before a reconstituted bench today comprising of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana P Desai. Novartis is appealing to the Supreme Court against an order of the IPAB which rejected its patent application covering Glivec (imatinib mesylate).

Counsels for the respondents, Aryama Sundaram (acting for Natco, to the best of my knowledge) and Abhishek Manu Singh (acting for Ranbaxy and Cipla) forcefully contended that the Supreme Court ought not to be entertaining the matter, since the petitioner (Novartis) should have first approached the High Court.

It bears noting that there is no statutory appeal from the IPAB to the High Court–and this would have to be by way of a writ petition. I am not entirely sure of the law on the point and will look to guidance from our readers who are litigating lawyers. For those interested in an overview of the key legal issues in this case, please see here.

The bench held that this preliminary issue (whether the court ought to entertain the matter) will be taken up on the 17th of October. If this preliminary issue is decided in favour of Novartis, the Supreme Court will begin hearing the case on merits. If not, Novartis would have to take the matter to one of the High Courts. The saga continues….

Shamnad Basheer

Shamnad Basheer

Prof (Dr) Shamnad Basheer founded SpicyIP in 2005. He is currently the Honorary Research Chair of IP Law at Nirma University and a visiting professor of law at the National Law School (NLS), Bangalore. He is also the Founder of IDIA, a project to train underprivileged students for admissions to the leading law schools. He served for two years as an expert on the IP global advisory council (GAC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2015, he received the Infosys Prize in Humanities in 2015 for his work on legal education and on democratising the discourse around intellectual property law and policy. The jury was headed by Nobel laureate, Prof Amartya Sen. Professional History: After graduating from the NLS, Bangalore Professor Basheer joinedAnand and Anand, one of India’s leading IP firms. He went on to head their telecommunication and technology practice and was rated by the IFLR as a leading technology lawyer. He left for the University of Oxford to pursue post-graduate studies, completing the BCL, MPhil and DPhil as a Wellcome Trust scholar. His first academic appointment was at the George Washington University Law School, where he served as the Frank H Marks Visiting Associate Professor of IP Law. He then relocated to India in 2008 to take up the MHRD Chaired Professorship in IP Law at WB NUJS, a leading Indian law school. Prof Basheer has published widely and his articles have won awards, including those instituted by ATRIP and the Stanford Technology Law Review. He is consulted widely by the government, industry, international organisations and civil society on a variety of IP issues. He also serves on several government committees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.