Prior to the third amendment, the Indian patent law categorically barred patent protection not only to chemical and drug compounds and intermediates but also to pharmaceutical compositions, drug combinations, drug deliveries and any physical/chemical modification to chemical/drug compounds (such as polymorph, co-crystals, complexes, enantiomers and so on). However, ten-year transitional period provided by TRIPS agreement mandated
What differentiate patent law from other disciplines of law is that this is the only subject of law that specifically and particularly deals with advance science and latest technology. Obviously with the advancement of scientific research and technology, certain practices that may have well thought-out inventive almost a decade back has now become more or less a customary practice to a person skilled in the art. For example, almost 10-15 years back resolution of racemic mixture into isomers/enantiomers was novel and inventive practice considering the state of technology and scientific practice prevailing at that particular point of time but now it has become known and customary to an ordinary person skilled in the art. Similarly, concepts such as bilayer tablet or controlled release formulation using HPMC that may obviously thought inventive almost a decade (or two) back is now a common formulation practice. However, despite such practices becoming customary and obvious in state-of-the-art, patents are regularly been issued for inventions using /based on such practices. Unfortunately, the patent law is not able to keep in race with the changing technology and scientific practices and in many cases still scrutinizing inventions keeping in account decade old scientific practice. Such patents are now a major point of concern in healthcare industry, which not only hamper healthy competition but also create litigious market, and is often used as a part of business strategy positively referred as Product LifeCycle Management and negatively referred as Ever-greening.
History is witness that many countries in past, from time to time, amended their patent law to support their social and economic development and
In our continuing post, we will particularly discuss section 3(d) in detail and will also try to rationalize the spirit and scope of section 3(d). However, we will be happy to welcome comments from our readers on this post and their opinion on section 3(d). Hope we can bring some value and clarity to section 3(d).