Novartis fails to obtain patent in India

Novartis AG`s effort to patent an updated version of the company`s leukemia - treating drug Glivec was denied by the decision of the Supreme Court of India. According to the Court the ingredient in Glivec, beta crystalline form of Imatinib Mesylate, fails in both the tests of invention and patentibility and therefore the appellant`s appeal would be an attempt to obtain patent for Imatinib Mesylate which is prohibited under India Patent law.

Contrary to this, patent protection for the Novartis AG`s new Glivec formula has been granted in nearly 40 countries including Russia and China. This decision of the Supreme Court of India is expected to have major impact on the patent case law in India regarding pharmaceuticals. Doctors Without Borders has hailed the decision as "a major victory for patients`s access to affordable medicines in developing countries".  Cases like this are not unfamiliar for the Indian patent case law.  According to Reuters, the Indian patent appeals board in March upheld a decision to allow a domestic company to produce generic version of the Bayer AG cancer drug Nexavar. It stays to see what will be the course of patent disputes in future when concerning India.