Category Archives: COVID-19

COVID-19 Data Exclusivity Patent Trade Secret

Compulsion for Compulsory Licenses for Covid Vaccines Climbs: But Are They the Cure?


On 11th May, it was reported that Kerala High Court has sought a response from the Central government on a PIL seeking direction to the government to invoke the compulsory license (CL) provisions for the COVID-19 vaccines. In the PIL, the Petitioner (Adv. Gopakumar GV) argues that in the present crisis resorting to CL will assist the nation to ramp up the quantity of vaccine output and thus overcome its scarcity. As reported before, the government is already facing a…


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COVID-19 Data Exclusivity Drug Regulation Innovation Overlaps in IP Trade Secret

Earning Royalties off Covaxin While Demanding IP Waiver at the WTO: Saviour on the Streets, Hypocrite in the Sheets


A frontline worker setting fire to funeral pyres at a cremation site.

As news broke out on May 3, 20201 regarding the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) earning royalties out of every dose of Covaxin sold, many were quick to chide the government for embarrassing itself by profiting off vaccines sold in its own country while seeking a waiver of all IPRs on patents, copyright, industrial design and undisclosed information pertaining to vaccines for Covid-19 (covered previously on the blog here, here and here) at the WTO. In this post, I focus on the differential…


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COVID-19 Innovation Patent

Special 301 Report 2021: US’s Great U-turn on Compulsory Licensing


Lost in the shadow of the US’s historic change of position on Waiver of IP rights in Covid-19 vaccines, the USTR’s latest Annual Special 301 Report has its own share of surprises to offer. The Report, as is known, is a much criticized annual exercise in ‘calling out’ countries for adopting IP policies that the US does not approve of – regardless of the fact that they’re made by sovereign nations to suit their own local realities. India, which enjoys…


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COVID-19 Patent

Centre Sees No Compulsion to Issue Compulsory Licenses for Covid Drugs


May 2021 has been an interesting month so far for compulsory licenses. First the Supreme Court inquired about the Government’s position on issuing CLs for COVID-19 related drugs and vaccines, then Natco filed an application requesting a compulsory license for Baricitinib. This is followed by Delhi HC’s interim order, where it too hinted that the Central government could explore the alternative of compulsory licensing. Even on the international front, one of the major opponents of the compulsory license mechanism- the…


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COVID-19 Trademark

Bombay HC Rejects Injunction Plea in Passing Off Action against Serum Institute of India for the ‘Covishield’ Mark


Recently, a Nanded-based pharmaceutical company, Cutis Biotech (‘Cutis’), had filed a passing off suit against Serum Institute of India (‘SII’) for the use of the mark ‘Covishield’. SII has been using the mark for the vaccines manufactured by it while Cutis has been using it for its products such as sanitisers and disinfectants. We had earlier informed our readers about the initial suit filed by Cutis in the Nanded District Court. The suit was subsequently filed in a Pune commercial…


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COVID-19 Patent

In Major Turnaround, US Announces Support for IP Waiver of Covid Vaccines


Late last night, the new US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, announced that the Biden-Harris administration is now supporting the waiver of IP protections for Covid-19 Vaccines. The short statement is available here and I reproduce it in full below: United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today released a statement announcing the Biden-Harris Administration’s support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. “This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures….


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COVID-19 Drug Regulation Patent

Delhi HC Issues Order on Tocilizumab Shortage, Seeks Patent Working Information from Roche


This evening, the Delhi High Court passed an interim order issuing important directions on the shortage of the drug Tocilizumab in Delhi hospitals. The case arose from a petition by the brother of a Covid-19 patient, who had been prescribed a tocilizumab injection (Actemra 400g) by the doctor, but could not be administered the same due to the unavailability of the drug. Owing to the rapidly deteriorating condition of the patient, the petitioner had approached the court with the urgent…


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COVID-19 Drug Regulation Patent

Natco Files Compulsory Licence Application for Covid Drug Baricitinib


pic of package cover for olumiant baricitinib

In an interesting development, Natco has approached the Controller of Patents for a Compulsory Licence under Section 92 of the Patents Act, for the drug Baricitinib. The 12 page application is available here. Baricitinib is generally used to treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and has been “reportedly approved” (as per the application) for such use in EU and India in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The application goes on to quote studies that indicate the Baricitinib in combination with Remdesivir is…


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COVID-19 Drug Regulation Patent

SC Issues Interim Order in Suo Motu COVID-19 Case: Raises Questions on Vaccine Procurement Process, Compulsory Licensing and More


A couple of days ago, I wrote about the Supreme Court’s first hearing in the suo motu Covid-19 case that took place on 30th April, discussing the questions raised by the bench. The interim order resulting from this hearing is now out. The order discusses the implementation of the Disaster Management Act, medical infrastructure, oxygen supply, vaccines, compulsory licensing, and supply of essential drugs. The court has examined the existing government policy on these issues and then asked questions and/or…


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COVID-19 Patent Trade Secret

NLU Delhi’s Online Panel Discussion on ‘IP and the Pandemic’ [May 5]


We’re pleased to inform you that the DPIIT IPR Chair at NLU Delhi is organising an online panel discussion on ‘IP and the Pandemic’ on May 5, 2021. For details, please see the announcement below: NLU Delhi’s Online Panel Discussion on ‘IP and the Pandemic’ May 5, 2021 | 7:30 PM IST The pandemic has raised several crucial issues concerning the role of Intellectual Property (IP) in the context of innovation and access to Covid-19 vaccines and pharmaceuticals. India and the…


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