The Novartis Case: India’s Gateway to Affordable Drugs

Ajay Shukla
Amity Law School, Delhi

Volume III, Issue III, 2020

Intellectual property falls under intangible form of property while a ‘Patent’ is a part of intellectual property. When a patent is granted it provides a statutory right given by the state to the inventor of the invention and to exclude others from using, making, or selling their invention for the duration which is limited by 20 years. The judgment given by the two-judge bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Novartis AG V. Union of India  is one of the landmark judgments by the Supreme Court of India. Novartis made a patent application which was rejected by IPAB for Beta crystalline form of “Imatinib mesylate” later such challenge was rejected by the Supreme Court on the ground that the said drug did not produce an enhanced or superior therapeutic efficacy as compared to the known substance i.e., “Imatinib mesylate” which meant that the drug here did not involve an inventive step. In this case one of the major reasons for the rejection of the patent application of Novartis was to avoid ever-greening of already patented products by introducing minor changes.


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