MSF launches patent opposition database to aid pharmaceutical protestors
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

MSF launches patent opposition database to aid pharmaceutical protestors

Health activists who want to challenge patents given to drugs companies have been given a new tool to make the process easier

Médecins Sans Frontières has today launched a database enabling activists to share information and experiences about opposing patents using one central portal.

The unveiling of the Patent Opposition Database comes 10 years after a landmark decision by Thailand's Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court to overturn the patent on then-key HIV drug didanosine, after a patent opposition was filed by AIDS Access Foundation and three Thai people living with HIV.

The database contains a searchable listing of 45 patent oppositions relating to key medicines and more than 200 other supporting documents that will aid in the building of future patent oppositions.

In particular it provides a simple guide to legislation covering patent opposition and the processes involved in challenging a patent at the pre-grant or post-grant stage.

It also links to copies of opposition documents that have been filed in countries including Brazil, India and Thailand and calls for users to submit prior art documents that activists in other parts of the world can use for their own opposition applications.

“It’s a myth that every patent application that is filed is valid,” said Michelle Childs, Director of Policy Advocacy for MSF’s Access Campaign. “When you look closely, a patent application may fail one or more of the legal tests it needs to pass. The idea behind this database is to help civil society and patient groups stop unwarranted patents from blocking people’s access to more affordable medicines.”

MSF pointed to a number of cases in which patient groups have already challenged pharmaceutical patents. In India, for example, groups successfully challenged a patent application for the HIV fixed-dose-combination zidovudine/lamivudine on the grounds that it was not a new invention, but simply the combination of two existing drugs.

After that, the Cancer Patient Aid Association filed a pre-grant opposition to an application made by Novartis, which was seeking patent protection for the salt form of imatinib, the active ingredient in its cancer-treating drug Glivec. India’s Supreme Court is now considering whether the country’s patent office was right to refuse to grant Novartis a patent.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

The UPC judges are wrong – restricting access to court documents, and making parties appoint a lawyer only to have a chance of seeing them, is madness
The group, which includes the Volkswagen, Seat and Audi brands, is now licensed to use SEPs owned by more than 60 patent owners
Managing IP’s Max Walters appeared on the latest episode of ‘Two IPs in a pod’, a regular podcast hosted by the UK patent attorney body, to discuss AI, awards and more
Sources at law firms say they have spent more than three years waiting for IP regulations and explain how the delay is affecting their business
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Managing IP will host a ceremony in London on April 11 to reveal the winners of the EMEA Awards 2024
Lawyers reveal what trends they have noticed in the Western District of Texas and the advice they have been giving clients as a result
Concerns over the EU’s proposed SEP Regulation are based on little empirical support, say Benno Buehler and Kilian Mueller of Charles River Associates
Managing IP+ has launched the Talent Tracker, an interactive database that collates reported partner moves across the intellectual property legal market
With the boom in UPC work, the biggest challenge facing the Munich-based firm is recruitment
Gift this article