Statement by India at the 27th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents delivered by N.Ramchander, Deputy Controller of Patents & Designs at the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Geneva on 12th December, 2017

Statement by India

At the 27th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents delivered by N.Ramchander, Deputy Controller of Patents & Designs at the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Geneva on 12th December, 2017 

AGENDA ITEM 8: PATENTS AND HEALTH

 

The Delegation of India reaffirms that the patent system should strike a balance between the interest of innovators and public health. In its opinion, it is one of the foremost responsibilities of the patent system to ensure the accessibility of medicines to the public at affordable prices. Recalling the objective of the TRIPS Agreement in Article 8 and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health and their calls for empowering states to take appropriate measures to protect public health and nutrition.

 The Delegation of India reiterates its request for a study on cost and benefit of patenting overbroad Markush formulae. The Delegation of India considered that the study could be broadly divided into two areas: (i) issues of the Patent law, for example, inventive step; and (ii) the relationship of overbroad Markush formulae with the sufficiency of disclosure.

The Delegation of India points that there may be many factors, affecting the availability and affordability of medicines, patent protection directly affecting the developing countries and LDCs (Least Developing Countries). The Delegation restates that it fully supported the proposal submitted by the Delegation of South Africa on behalf of the African Group and the DAG on patents and health to work out the balance between patent rights and caring for the public health by way of restricting patentee’s rights so that their pharmaceutical products would be sold at an affordable price. The Delegation reiterates its stand on the inclusion of INN in a patent specification, which in its view, would facilitate grant of quality patents. Noting that INN is assigned by the WHO for a single, well-defined substance, but not for mixtures of substances, herbal substances or for homoeopathic products, the Delegation states that during substantial examination, an examiner can easily access the details such as IUPAC name, structural formula, molecular formula, Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number, therapeutic use and pharmacological action of the molecule, if INN was known. The Delegation points that, as a result, granting a patent for the molecule with trivial and obvious modifications could be minimized to some extent. Therefore, the Delegation of India emphasizes that the Secretariat should conduct a feasibility study for inclusion of INN in a patent specification, if the INN is known.

In view of above submissions made in the previous SCP, my delegation supports for the updated proposal by the African Group, composed of three interlinked items, namely studies, information exchange and technical assistance taken under WIPO Work Program on Patents and Health.

Thank you Chair

 
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