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[afro-nets] Indian Patent Office Rejected Patent Applications for Treatment of HIV/AIDS (tenofovir, darunavir), etc
- From: "Sweety Prem Kumar R" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 00:19:38 +0530
Cross-posted from "AIDS Beyond Borders" <AIDS-Beyond-Borders@googlegroups.com>
Developing countries express concern over WIPO’s hidden agenda of pushing patent harmonization
Monday, September 21, 2009
Source: Pharmabiz.com; Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai*
Even as the World Intellectual Property Organisation's (WIPO) two-day Global Symposium of IP Authorities is underway in Geneva, the developing countries are expressing concern on the larger agenda of the organisation, controlled by US, EU and Japan, on pushing a patent harmonization agenda.
According to WIPO, the symposium is being organised to discuss issues relating to the modernization and administration of IP Offices (Patent and Trademark Offices), brainstorm the vision for the future on the global IP infrastructure including common tools and databases for facilitating international collaboration, study the value of IP statistics for managing IP Office operation, and exchange experiences on the different financial models of IP Offices.
But, there are apprehensions among the developing countries over the larger intentions of the WIPO. It is evident from an analytical note issued by the South Centre, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, which says, "Discussions in the WIPO Global Symposium of IP Authorities on 17 and 18 September, 2009 will focus on improving the international patent infrastructure through international collaboration for work-sharing between patent offices and improvement of the PCT system."
"These discussions may promote the establishment of a globally harmonized system of patent administration networks. This may fundamentally affect the way in which substantive decisions about granting patents are taken by national offices in developing countries. The discussions in the symposium are particularly significant in view of the proposal by the WIPO Secretariat before the General Assembly to establish a new Committee on Global IP Infrastructure with wide discretionary powers to make recommendations directly to the Director-General without approaching the General Assembly," it said.
The document further says that a work-sharing system in which national offices from developing countries rely on examination reports by a few offices, largely from developed countries which follow weak examination standards, can impede the ability of developing countries to apply their search and examination procedures to prevent the grant of frivolous patents that may impede local innovation that is necessary for their economic development.
The patent examination process is an important element in the ability of developing countries to use their IP law and policy in manner that can facilitate their economic development, particularly in sectors like pharmaceuticals, food technology, biotechnology, etc. For instance, the Indian patent office has rejected many foreign patent applications on pharmaceutical substances like medicines necessary for treatment of HIV/AIDS (tenofovir, darunavir), avian influenza (tamiflu), leukaemia (imatinib mesylate), etc., on the ground that the applications did not satisfy the requirement of novelty as they were mere incremental modifications of known substances, the note explained.
Examining the applications under the Indian law was crucial in this regard. However, in many developed countries such incremental innovations are patentable. The rejection of such patents in India has enabled Indian generic companies to produce these medicines and make supply them to many developing countries at affordable prices, the note said.
Sweety Prem Kumar R