A need for a centralized database system of trademarks of licensed drugs is being felt by the Drug Controller General of India to check the menace of drugs with similar names in the market.
The trademark of a drug is the identity by which consumers know it. The Intellectual Property office has a complete database of trademarks already registered from where the status of an application for a trademark can be found. But generally pharma companies tend to market a drug first and apply for the trademark registration later. This coupled with absence of coordination between controllers of different states in ensuring not to give license to drugs with similar trademarks for manufacture and marketing is resulting in a chaotic situation at the Trademark Registry.
Over a lakh applications are filed in the Indian Trademark office every year. Applications from pharma companies are the highest and cover almost a third of the total applications. Out of the total applications at least one-fifth face opposition of which a third are from the Pharma sector.
There are hundred of instances where a company’s plea to register a trademark for its drug is vehemently being opposed by a rival firm. Novartis is opposing Cadila Pharma’s application for ‘A-Statin’ trademark. Similarly Cipla’s request for the registration of the trademark ‘Docetax’ is being opposed by Sanofi Aventis. Bafna Pharma is locked in a battle with GSK Pharma over ‘Newpar’ and Dr. Reddy’s Lab with Micro Labs over ‘Rupanex’. Cipla is facing another opposition from ‘Merck’ for ‘Clobion’.
A proposal to have a centralized database system is being considered by the Drug Controller General of India to be referred to the Parliament. With this move there can be a reduction in opposition proceedings and consequently of trademark battles between the pharma companies.
This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
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