India: Novartis fights on in Gleevec battle
Novartis has now appealed to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn the rejection of its controversial patent for Gleevec. Archana Shanker of Anand and Anand discusses the issues raised by the case
The speculation seemed to have come to an end on June 26
2009 when the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) gave
its decision on the Novartis patent application directed to the
beta crystalline version of imatinib mesylate (Gleevec),
refusing the patent application. Novartis then filed a special
leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court, which has issued
notice to the respondents in the matter (Union of India and
others) to decide the issue of maintainability.
The facts of the Novartis pre-grant oppositions are well
known and this article is only an attempt to summarise the
issues and the propositions of law that have been discussed in
By way of background, Novartis AG, a Swiss pharmaceutical
company, applied for patent number 1602/MAS/1998 claiming Swiss
priority of July 18 1997 for an invention directed to a "beta
crystalline form of imatinib mesylate". Cancer Patient Aid
Association (CPAA), NATCO Pharma, CIPLA...
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