Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Symposium on Challenges to India's Patent Regime

NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL, Bangalore is hosting a symposium on "Challenges to India's Patent Regime" on 12th and 13th of April, 2008. The details of the symposium can be found here. I will be speaking at the symposium along with a host of distinguished experts including

Justice AR Lakshmanan, Chairman Law Commission of India; Justice PP
Naolekar, Judge Supreme Court of India; Justice Ravindra Bhat, Judge Delhi
High Court; Justice DV Shylendra Kumar, Judge Karnataka High Court

Dr. Anil Gupta, IIM Ahmedabad; Shamnad Basheer, Oxford IP Research Centre;
Srividhya Raghavan, Oklahoma University; T. Ramakrishna, NLSIU; Sudhir
Krishnaswamy, NLSIU

Aditya Sondhi, Advocate Karnataka High Court; Vinay Aravind, Poovayya & Poovayya

Leena Menghaney, Access Campaign Manager - India, MSF; Mr. Gopa Kumar,
CENTAD; Dr. Anand Grover, Director, Lawyers' Collective

For registration, please contact Apurva Rai, +919886208285 or contact Arghya
Sengupta, +919886023232.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Strategies for Challenging and Defending Patents

DO YOU HAVE a strategy for managing innovation? If you do what is your legal strategy with regard to innovation, be it your own or that of your competitor? Most organisations view innovation strategy as something confined to identifying and developing innovation. The critical part of protecting innovation, after you have developed and marketed it, is an activity which happens outside the confines of an organisation, and is inevitably outsourced. Organisations need to develop strategies for managing innovations - both their own as well as their competitors - if they are to have a comparative advantage in the market. And the essence of strategy, to quote Michael Porter, is choosing to perform activities differently than rivals do. The uniqueness of Indian patent laws gives much scope for pharmaceutical companies - big and small, branded and generic, foreign and local - to develop legal strategies with regard to innovations. My article titled "Needed, legal strategy to protect innovations" appeared in today's The Hindu Business Line and the same can be read here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

American Cyanamid Rules!

THE UNANIMITY WITH which Roche and Cipla agreed on the applicability of the American Cyanamid decision and the manner in which the same was applied by the Delhi High Court in the interlocutory stage of the infringement case, reaffirms our faith in the Cyanamid approach. We had earlier remarked here, in the context of the Bajaj-TVS case, on the courts' approach to granting interim injunctions. The Roche-Cipla order illustrates with great clarity on how the Cyanamid approach is to be applied. Unfortunately, we notice that the court did not make any determination on the 'adequacy of damages' which is a vital cog in the Cyanamid approach. My article analysing this issue titled "It's American Cyanamid again on patents vs access to medicines" appeared in today's DNA Money and the same can be read here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Patents and Medical Tourism

THE ISSUES SURROUNDING the Erlotinib patent present an ideal illustration of the complexities that embrangle patent law. 'Public health', 'public interest', 'access to life-saving medicines', 'compulsory licences' are some of the issues that have cropped up in what should have otherwise been a run-of-the-mill patent infringement case. And the fact that the consequences which result from the case are 'far-reaching' needs no further testimony than the proposed plan to obtain an involuntary licence for export to Nepal. The sale of the drug in Nepal may lead to interesting economic consequences which I have discussed in a short piece which appeared in the FICCI's Spotlight magazine. My article titled "Patents and Medical Tourism - How Compulsory Licences can Trigger Travel Seeking Affordable Health Solutions" appeared in the Guest Column at page 3 in the March Issue. The same can be read here.