August 06, 2007 at 2:41 PM
Reuters, The New York Times and the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis are reporting today that the Madras High Court in Chennai, India, has rejected a challenge to Indian patent law brought by Novartis.
According to the reports, Novartis challenged the constitutionality of a provision of Indian patent law that denied a patent to the Novartis leukemia drug Gleevec / Glivec ©. Novartis also claimed that the denial conflicted with obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS). The Madras High Court dismissed the Novartis complaint, determining that there was no constitutional violation and that it was not the appropriate forum in which to determine whether Indian law complies with WTO guidelines. The full-text of the decision has not yet been released.
The decision is receiving much attention because many inexpensive generic drugs are manufactured in India for distribution to people in the developing world.