Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has learnt this morning that final arguments in the Indian Supreme Court case of Novartis vs. Government of India has been re-scheduled for 11 September 2012. The case was due to start today, 22 August. The postponement is due to other pending cases which need to be heard.
In 2006, Swiss drug company Novartis launched a bid to overturn a key public health provision in India’s patent law, Section 3(d). Novartis lost its case in 2007, but in 2009 launched a new attack on the law in the Indian Supreme Court. Should Novartis win, patents would be granted far more broadly on life-saving medicines in India, blocking the competition among multiple producers that drives prices down, and restricting access to affordable medicines for millions in India and across the developing world.
A background and further information on the case can be found here:
Timeline of Key Events in Novartis's attack on the pharmacy of the developing world
Update: appeal on India's first compulsory licence
The legal appeal against the grant of a compulsory license on Bayer anti-cancer drug Nexavar drug is scheduled to be heard on 3 September before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board in Chennai. On 9 March 2012, the Patent Controller issued the first-ever compulsory licence to a generic manufacturer authorizing it to market in India a more affordable version of a patented cancer medicine.
Update: EU-India FTA negotiations:
The EU-India Free Trade Agreement negotiations (FTA) have now reached a crucial stage. Seeking to conclude the long-awaited trade and investment agreement by the end of this year, India and the European Union will hold the 'final Ministerial summit' in November in New Delhi to conclude the deal.
MSF is following the negotiations on intellectual property closely and continues to be concerned about the intellectual property enforcement provisions.
A background and further information on IP enforcement in the FTA negotiations.