Business Standard reported that domestic drug companies and public health activists have accused research-based multinational drug companies of not providing clear information about the type or use of the potential new medicines in patent applications. Also accusing the practice of using complex chemicals, or molecular formulae, in place of clear indicators as patent titles as an attempt to hide the identity of the actual molecule. A Mumbai-based patent expert said, “There are instances of patent title merely mentioning the invention as ‘a novel compound’ or a ‘new pharmaceutical substance’. By doing so, the companies are trying to avoid detection of the actual nature of their products. The Indian patent law has, in fact, considered this factor while saying (in section 10) that the title of the patent application and the patent abstract that follows should describe the product, its use and explain its contents.” Further adding, “However, these rules are often broken than followed.” Addressing the issue, the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) insists that all applications for pharmaceutical substances should indicate the
Every year, the list of problems by domestic drug companies and public health activists seems to be increasing. Earlier, they had problem with (1) introduction of patent protection for pharmaceutical and drug products, (2) (triggering) period for compulsory license, (3) patent office issuing patent for mail-box drug applications (without giving hearing during pre-grant opposition) and latest is patent titles. I too search and track Indian patents/published applications for drug compounds/pharmaceutical products but surprisingly never faced any confusion/difficulty in locating through patent titles. In most of the cases where patents are issued for salts and polymorphs,
There is no point in accusing MNCs for such issue. They provide whatever they feel appropriate but under section 10 (4)(d) of the Patents Act, 1970 the Controller of Patents also have an option to amend the abstract for providing better information to third parties. If MNCs fails in providing abstract in a manner to facilitate searching then it is duty of Controller to do so (or ask applicant to do so).