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Poorly Waged Patent Battle Becomes International Controversy (India)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

When India's High Court ruled against patent protection for a drug made by pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, it was a massive controversy in the world health arena. The loss by Novartis was a huge blow for pharmaceutical manufacturers. But some legal experts point out it did not have to be. They argue the mistake made by Novartis's legal representation was to allow the case to become a worldwide battle, fought in the court of public opinion as well as the High Court. Some experts say Novartis' fatal error was to base its case around the idea that India's patent law was unconstitutional. Instead, they argue, Novartis should have quietly appealed to the Indian patent office. Novartis' case should have focused on the fact that the 1998 version of its oncologic, Glivec, was significantly more effective than the version originally patented in 1993. Because India's patent law protects patents filed after 1995, Glivec would have most-likely gained protection, these experts say. (Click here for more

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