ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Analysing the Supreme Court Judgment

A detailed account of the examination of Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act in the Supreme Court's judgment on Novartis's patent application for Glivec.

In many ways, the Novartis story starts in the 1980s when western multinational corporations (MNCs), notably the pharmaceutical and music industries in the US, decided that the whole world should have intellectual property regimes like the one in the US; a vision they pursued through their governments, ultimately leading to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, and still being pursued through other means.1

The TRIPS Agreement sets out mandatory minimum standards of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement measures for the World Trade ;Organization (WTO) member countries. Thus, in terms of patent law, in Article 27.1, the TRIPS Agreement mandates that member countries have to provide patent protection for a period of 20 years, for products and processes that are novel, not obvious and are industrially applicable. However, as explained in Correa’s (2013) accompanying article, it does not stipulate what is “new” or an “inventive step”, flexibilities that developing countries secured in TRIPS.

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