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Indian Patent act need revisions, requests Indian and Foreign pharmaceutical associations

Indian and foreign pharmaceutical associations need amendment in section 146 of Indian patent act 1970 and form 27 for making Indian patenting system more efficient and it will eliminate vague and unnecessary annual working statement disclosures. Indian patent office has invited responses from stake holders and many pharmaceutical industries and association responded in this regards.

These associations include Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), Pharmaceutical  Research and; Manufacturers of  America (“PhRMA”),  International  Federation of  Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (“IFPMA”), USA, Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers  Association (“JPMA”) and INTERPAT.

As per associations, the rationale underpinning Section 146 of the Patents Act, 1970 is outdated, vague, and creates significant uncertainty for patent owners in India. The majority of disclosures required under Section 146 are either unnecessary to determining if a patented invention has been “worked” in India or are so vague they are nearly meaningless.

Section 146 appears to require the Patent Office to publish the information regarding licences in Form 27. However, required disclosures seem to conflict with other provisions of the Patents Act. For example, Section 69(4) of the Patents Act requires the India Patent Office to keep confidential registered patent license agreements when accompanied by a confidentially request.

Associations informed that scope of Form 27 has not been updated or amended in nearly 45 years, and; therefore does not reflect the realities of today’s globalized nature of  innovation and patenting activity. In addition, filing  Form 27 is burdensome because many of the requested  disclosures are vague and unclear.

The Associations are concerned that third parties can abuse Form 27 disclosures to misappropriate legitimate intellectual property rights. Published Form 27 details, for each patent in India can be accessed by  anyone through IPO website, with no precautionary means for ensuring confidentiality of the submitted information. Besides, current information; may be misused by third parties by initiating actions that are frivolous or  intended for pec uniary gain under various public interest provisions of the Patents Act.

The Associations request, at a minimum, that the India Patent Office amend Form 27, and relevant regulations, to limit patentee statements to whether or not a patent was worked in India.

At a minimum, the Associations urge the India Patent Office to exempt confidential or proprietary information from its annual working statement disclosures. That means striking sections of Form 27 that relate to the “quantum and value” of the patent ed product and “licensees and sub - licensees.”

In addition, the India Patent Office should continue to exempt certain situations of non - working; i.e . regulatory delays or market conditions that would otherwise prohibit patentees from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the product in India.

As per association, it would be appropriate to reduce the reporting frequency of Form 27 to every three years.

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