Indian Pharmaceutical Patent Law and the Effects of Novartis Ag v. Union of India


This Note gives a brief overview of Indian patent law as it relates to pharmaceuticals, considers the challenges the law is currently facing, and suggests some possible ways that India may wish to approach those challenges. Part II provides a cursory discussion of India’s pharmaceutical industry and its place in the world today. Part III traces the history of Indian patent law. Part IV focuses on the growing globalization of intellectual property law and India’s involvement in the WTO and adherence to TRIPS. Part V describes TRIPS Section 3(d) and its requirements for patentability, and Part VI gives a procedural history of current cases and recent decisions in India involving pharmaceutical patents, with an emphasis on the Novartis case. Part VII touches upon the TRIPS-compliance issue with section 3(d). Finally, Part VIII presents some of the arguments of proponents of affordable health care, who consider the Novartis decision a triumph for India and other developing countries in desperate need of inexpensive medications.


India, pharmaceutical, patent, drugs, medicine, globalization, TRIPS, intellectual property, Novartis Ag, WTO, World Trade Organization



William J. Bennett (Washington University in St. Louis)



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