Monday, February 19, 2018

Bharadwaj on Injunctions and the Public Interest in India

Ashish Bharadwaj has published an article titled Patent Injunction and the Public Interest in India, 40 EIPR 55-58 (2018).  Here is the abstract:
In Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH v Ajanta Pharma Ltd, the Delhi High Court weighs public interest with an injunction in an infringement suit pertaining to a drug patent on new grounds. The decision is functionally a compulsory licensing arrangement, although it is characterised as voluntary licensing. Moreover, the decision represents a dramatic expansion in the scope of patents that fall under the public interest exception to the grant of patents under the Indian patent law. The decisive ruling has implications for future cases in India, where courts could now refuse to grant injunctions for patent infringement based on a very broad economic rationale.
As the abstract suggests, the author argues that the case departs from Indian precedent in effectively permitting a court to issue a compulsory license in the public interest, even though the drug is not a life-saving medicine (it's an erectile dysfunction drug), based on "economic factors such as employment or tax revenues for the state."  (Ajanta was making the patented drug in India, without Bayer's permission, for export to other countries. Bayer itself was not working the drug in India.)   Several posts about the Bayer/Ajanta case also have appeared over the past few months on the SpicyIP Blog, as I noted here.  In addition, here is a link to a post on Mondaq from March 2017 by Dinesh Kumar Sharma, titled Patent Infringement in India and Interim Injunctions: Jurisprudence on "Public Interest" Continues to Evolve, which discusses Bayer/Ajanta among others.  Finally, I should note that in September Pankhuri Agarwal and Shamnad Basheer published two posts on Spicy IP titled Towards More Intelligible "Open Access" at the India Patent Office:  A Study of Compulsory Licensing Cases (see here and here), which discusses the difficulty one of the authors encountered in trying to obtain online access to compulsory licensing decisions of the India Patent Office, and provides their recommendations for improving online access.

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