[Ip-health] PMO renews patent debate
kumargopakm at gmail.com
Thu Aug 19 02:44:29 PDT 2010
PMO renews patent debateJoe C Mathew / New Delhi August 19, 2010, 0:55 IST
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought the opinion of various
stakeholder departments on the need for further amendments to the patent law
to introduce some of the controversial provisions that were kept out during
the previous amendment to the Indian Patent Act five years ago.
The move, which comes ahead of the India visit of US President Barack Obama,
is significant as many of these issues have been raised by multinational
The PMO suggestion is based on a submission made by the Organisation of
Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), the association representing the
global pharmaceutical industry in the country. OPPI has sought a more
stringent intellectual property regime than what is compulsory under the
Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement of
the World Trade Organization.
The proposed chan-ges, if enacted, can have a significant impact on the way
patents are granted in the country.
The industry lobby group has sought a review of the scope of a specific
section of the Indian Patent Act that disallows patenting of incremental
innovations without significant advantages.
Data exclusivity, patent linkage and allowing patents to incremental
innovations by amending the section 3 (d) of the Patent Act have been the
most important demands of the global pharmaceutical companies.
The United States Trade Representative, in its annual “Special 301” Report,
also highlights the need for a strengthened intellectual property regime as
one of the requirements before India can be removed from its “watch list”.
This report relates to the agency’s views on the adequacy and effectiveness
of US trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights.
In a note to the departments of health, industrial policy and promotion,
legal affairs and pharmaceuticals, PMO wanted the issues raised by OPPI on
the need for regulatory data protection and amendment to the Patent Act be
examined by each department and submit their views. The Department of
Pharmaceuticals has been asked to coordinate the matter.
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