Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

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

Pfizer IP head says that IP protectionism in India is discouraging foreign investment

Pfizer’s chief IP counsel decries India’s “protectionist intellectual property regime” in testimony before the United States Congress, reports the Financial Times

Speaking at a hearing before the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Roy Waldron of Pfizer argued that India’s intellectual property laws favoured local industries at the expense of international companies. He pointed to the recent revocation of his company’s patent for cancer drug sutent as evidence of an increasingly protectionist IP regime. According to Waldron, the situation has worsened and is discouraging international investment in India.

Waldron also criticised India’s likely increasing use of compulsory licences, even though he claims that Pfizer is “more than willing to discuss viable solutions to increase access to quality medicines”.

Waldron’s comments reflect growing concerns about patent rights in India. Last week, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) upheld the country’s first compulsory licence issued for Bayer's sorafenib. In an interview with Managing IP, IPAB Chairperson Prabha Sridevan defended the board’s decision, calling compulsory licensing a “balanced approach” to protecting the interests of rights holders and the general public.

“Compulsory licences are not a denigration of the owner’s rights,” she argued. “The patent rights are intact until the patent is invalidated.”

The Indian government has indicated that more compulsory licences are almost certainly coming. While the sorafenib compulsory licence was issued under section 84 of the Patent Act, which requires an application from a generic manufacturer, the government itself recently initiated proceedings for three more compulsory licences. The Department of Pharmaceuticals, which initiated the proceedings, relied on section 92, which allows the government to issue compulsory licences in the case of “national emergency or in circumstances of extreme urgency”.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Sukanya Sarkar shares her thoughts on this year’s annual meeting in Singapore, where debates ranged from AI opportunities to improving law firm culture
The court’s ruling is a good reminder that US parties aren’t guaranteed attorney fees just because they win, say sources
With business confidence in a shaky state, Rachel Tong and Lisa Yong of Rouse discuss how in-house IP teams can manage their trademark portfolios through uncertain times
The Court of Appeal had stern words for Med-El’s representatives after they highlighted a deputy judge’s background as a solicitor
Funders and NPEs say asserting patent portfolios can minimise risk at the USPTO’s PTAB, where procedure remains a controversial topic
The US Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t a surprise and reflects a trend that had already been bubbling away for a while, say tech and pharma counsel
Previous attempts at major transatlantic tie-ups have failed, so lawyers will keep their eyes firmly on Allen & Overy’s grand plans
INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo shares his plans if he were to win the EUIPO leadership race and says his application does not affect his INTA role
The French finance minister told António Campinos the timing of an EPO event in Lisbon could be seen as interference in the EUIPO leadership race