SpicyIP Weekly Review (March 12-18)

Last week saw the blog carrying a number of important developments from the Indian IP landscape. Although each story vied strongly to be the weekly highlight, the topical highlight of the week has to be the fellowship entry covering Delhi High Court’s order upholding the interim injunction granted by a single judge against Cipla for manufacturing the drug, ‘Indaflo’, in violation of Novartis’ patent over its drug ‘Indacaterol’.  The order assumes significance as it marks a set back to the persistent efforts by Cipla to continue manufacturing its generic version of the bronchodilator drug, ‘Indacaterol’, manufactured by Novartis and marketed in India by Lupin, as ‘Onbrez’. Among others, Cipla’s challenge to the injunction was based on the ground of ‘public interest’. While Cipla argued that any grant of injunction would be adverse to the public interest as Novartis imports a much lesser quantity of the drug than is required, the court rejected it seemingly on the ground that it is not a life-saving drug and other drugs of the same category are available in the market.

The thematic highlight of the week is my post on the stock-out of child anti-retroviral drug, ‘Lopinavir’. In this post, I discuss how even after sufficient notice of Cipla’s decision to phase out ‘Lopinavir’ in the form of syrup, government failed to put in place alternate measures. While the reason for the withdrawal of the syrup form seems to be unclear, government’s callousness in a matter of high public importance as this, was marked by its lack of willingness to pay the outstanding dues to Cipla as well as failing to expedite the approval for the pellet form of the drug, which has already obtained approval in other jurisdictions. I note how the actions of the government are in blatant violation of its constitutional duty to ensure access to life saving drugs.

Next up, in what could be termed as the closure in the DU photocopy case, Pankhuri reported about the joint public statement released by the publishers informing of their decision to not pursue the matter any further in the courts. The Oxford University Press had separately issued a letter to its students, alumni and academics of its decision to not press the matter any further. In both statements, publishers make it clear that although the decision to withdraw should in no way be seen as a deviation from the principled stance they have taken during the course of the litigation, they indicate their willingness to work closely with students and the academic community towards fostering a more inclusive education ecosystem in India.

We then had Inika discussing the recent media reports about a single judge of the Delhi High Court enquiring about the evidence on which the patent office based its decision to reject the patent application by the University of California for its drug, Xtandi, used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Although the recent order passed by Justice Sachdeva merely directs the filing of counter-affidavit within four weeks, media reports indicate that the judge apparently queried about the material on which the patent office based its decision to not grant the patent.

In other news, we had Pankhuri bringing to our readers’ attention the opportunity for law graduates to work as research fellows with NLU-Delhi’s Centre for Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition (CIIPC).

International Developments

  1. In a first, UK Court grants blocking order against accessing streaming servers.
  2. Randy Wolfe’s estate files appeal in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ suit.
  3. Trial on Aurobindo- Reckitt Benckiser patent dispute to start in April

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