Patent Issue Under Section 3(d) Of The Patents Act,1970- Jus Dicere

Analysis of Patent Issues for Pharmaceutical Sectors under Patents Act, 1970

Abstract – Patent is one of the major forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) used in the pharmaceutical industry. Trademark, industrial design, geographical indication and copyright are other forms of IPRs available in India. Grant of the patent in India is governed under the Patents Act, 1970. Significant changes like provision of product patents and increase in the term of the patent to 20 years were introduced in the Indian patent law after India signed TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement in 1995. This article provides a brief overview of the development of patent law in India as a consequence of TRIPS agreement. While doing so, it also focuses n the issue of patentability of pharmaceuticals categorized under Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970. The controversies it faced are also described supported by the landmark case.  

Keywords – Patents, Pharmaceuticals, Efficacy, Section 3(d), Patents Act


The imaginative work of the human personality is ensured through a few measures and the primary inspiration for the same is that such security is a positive measure of consolation for the innovative action. A few types of insurance of the innovative action have occurred including those which are quite compelling in the mechanical improvement, patents being one of them. As a rule, the patent is a restraining infrastructure give and it empowers the innovator to control the yield and inside the breaking points set by request, the cost of the patented items. Basic monetary and business avocation for the patent framework is that it goes about as a jolt to interest in the Industrial development. Creative innovation prompts the support of, and increment in countries stock of significant, tradable and modern resources.

The allowance of the first patent can be followed as far back as 500 B.C. It was the city ruled by gourmands, and maybe the initially, to concede what we nowadays call patent ideal to advance culinary workmanship for it gave selective privileges of an offer to any confectioner who initially created a delightful dish. As the training was reached out to other Greek urban communities and to different specialties and items, it obtained a name ‘monopoly’, a Greek Portmanteau word from mono (alone) and polein (sale).

In pharmaceuticals, patenting is a standout amongst the most vital strides with a specific end goal to pick up imposing business model over the disclosure of the substance or the way toward making it. In any case, the primary issue emerging is that organizations in this field depend on the negligence of consistently greening the patents with a specific end goal to hold their restraining infrastructure rights. Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act 1970, which was introduced in the 2005 amendment, manages this issue. In any case, while managing the issue, the arrangement additionally needed to confront numerous issues, which will be talked about later in this article.

Meaning of Patent

A patent is a selective right conceded by a nation to the proprietor of a creation to make, utilize, fabricate and advertise the development, gave the innovation fulfills certain conditions stipulated in the law. Exclusiveness of right infers that nobody else can make, utilize, manufacture or showcase the invention without the permission of the patent holder. This privilege is accessible just for a restricted timeframe. Notwithstanding, the utilization or abuse of a patent might be influenced by different laws of the nation which has granted the patent.

Confirmations of allowance to private people by lords and leaders of restrictive property rights to innovators go back to the Fourteenth Century, however, their motivation fluctuated all through the history. History demonstrates that in the Fifteenth Century in Venice there had been a precise utilization of imposing business model benefits for innovators for the consolation of development. Utility and curiosity of the innovation were the imperative contemplations for allowing a patent benefit. The innovators were additionally required to put their creation in business use inside a predetermined period. In the Sixteenth Century, the German sovereigns granted innovators of new expressions and machines and furthermore mulled over the utility and oddity of developments. Early laws in American settlements served principally to urge remote producers to set up new ventures in the states by giving them secured household markets.

By the late fifteenth Century, the English government progressively began utilizing imposing business model benefit to compensate court top choices, to secure faithfulness and to secure control over the business, however, these benefits were not used to support innovations. In 1623, the English Parliament embraced a Statute of restraining infrastructures which perceived the designers patent as a legitimate imposing business model to be recognized from other syndication benefits. The Statute banned the granting of restraining infrastructure benefits with the exception of the first and genuine creator of another make.

In England during the 16th and 17th Century, the inventor’s patent of monopoly had become of great national importance. From the mid-seventeenth Century through the mid-nineteenth Century, the laws recognizing the patent monopoly spread throughout Europe and North America, but these privileges were not granted without the opposition.

The origin of the Indian Patent System could be traced to the Act of 1856 granting exclusive privileges to inventors.  The patent regime at the time of Independence was governed by the Patents and Designs Act, 1911, which had provisions both for product and process patents. It was, however; generally felt that the patent law had done little good to the people of the country. The way the Act was designed benefited foreigners far more than Indians. It did not help at all in the promotion of scientific research and industrialization in the country, and it curbed the innovativeness and inventiveness of Indians.

Shortly after Independence, therefore, in 1949, a committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Justice (Dr.) Bakshi Tek Chand, a retired judge of the Lahore High Court, to undertake a comprehensive review of the working of the 1911 Act.  The Committee submitted its interim report on August 4, 1949, and the final report in1950 making recommendations for prevention of misuse or abuse of patent rights in India. It also observed that the Patent Act should contain a clear indication that food and medicine and surgical and curative devices were to be made available to the public at the cheapest price commensurate with giving reasonable compensation to the patentee. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the 1911 Act was amended in 1950 (by Act XXXII of 1950) in relation to working of inventions, including compulsory licensing and revocation of patents. In 1952, a further amendment was made (by Act LXX of 1952) to provide for a compulsory license in respect of food and medicines, insecticide, germicide or fungicide, and a process for producing a substance or any invention relating to surgical or curative devices. The committee’s recommendation prompted the Government to introduce a bill (Bill no. 59 of 1953) in Parliament, but the bill was not pressed and it was allowed to lapse.

In 1957, another committee came to be appointed under the chairmanship of Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar to take a fresh look at the law of patent and to completely revamp and recast it to best sub-serve the contemporary needs of the country.  Justice Ayyangar’s report specially discussed (a) patents for chemical inventions and (b) patents for inventions relating to food and medicine. Justice Ayyangar submitted a comprehensive Report on Patent Law Revision in September 1959 and the new law of patent, namely, the Patents Act, 1970, came to be enacted mainly based on the recommendations of the report, and came into force on April 20, 1972, replacing the Patents and Designs Act, 1911. However, the 1911 Act continued to be applied to designs.

The Patents Act, 1970

The Patents Act, 1970 remained in a drive for around 24 years with no change till December 1994. Being a notable point in the mechanical headway of India, the essential rationale of the Act is that patents are yielded to ask developments and to secure that these manifestations are managed on a business scale promptly; and patents are permitted not exclusively to engage patentee to value a monopoly for the importation of the patented article into the country. The said sanity is being executed through compulsory approving, selection of simply process patents for sustenance, arrangement or prescription, pesticides and substances conveyed by blend shapes which, besides manufactured substances commonly observed, also fuse things, for instance, amalgams, optical glass, semi-transports, cover metallic blends etc. It may, regardless, be seen that things fundamental for our economy, for instance, agriculture-based business, horticulture things, nuclear vitality developments and every single living thing are not patentable. Therefore, the Patents Act 1970 was depended upon to give a sensible amicability among agreeable and effective affirmation of patents from one perspective and the advancement change, open interest and specific needs of the country on the other hand.

Uruguay round of GATT trades organized WTO. Moreover, India was put under the conclusive feeling of obligation in regards to change its Patents Act inconsistency with the strategies of TRIPS. India anticipated that would meet the focal game plan of necessities on 1-1-1995. In like way, an Ordinance impacting certain changes in the Act was issued on 31st December 1994, which tended to work following a half year. Along these lines, another Ordinance was issued in 1999. This Ordinance was accordingly supplanted by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999 that was brought in to oblige splendidly from first January 1995. The changed Act has given to recording of utilization for thing licenses in the zones of drugs, pharmaceuticals, and agro-chemicals, however, such licenses were not permitted. Regardless, such applications were to be analyzed essentially after 31-12-2004. Meanwhile, the hopefuls could be permitted Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMR) to offer or disperse these things in India, subject to satisfaction of specific conditions.

India altered its Patents Act once more in 2002 via the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2002 expanding the term of the patent to twenty years for all innovation, Reversal of weight of verification, compulsory licenses and so on. This Act came into power on 20th May 2003 with the presentation of the brand new Patent rules, 2003 by using supplanting the previous Patents policies, 1972

The third modification to the Patents Act 1970 became provided through the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance, 2004 with impact from first January 2005 fusing arrangements for allowing item patent in all fields of generation consisting of chemical substances, sustenance, drugs, and agrochemicals. This Ordinance was later supplanted with the aid of the Patents (Amendment) Act 2005 on 4th April 2005 which is in constraint now having the impact from 1-1-2005.

Patents Rules

Underneath the provisions of section 159 of the Patents Act, 1970 the vital government is empowered to make policies for enforcing the Act and regulating patent administration. As a result, the Patents policies, 1972 were notified and brought into pressure with impact from 20.4.1972. These guidelines have been amended from time to time till 20th May 2003 when new Patents guidelines, 2003 were brought into pressure via changing the 1972 regulations. Those rules have been similarly amended via the Patents (Amendment) regulations, 2005 and the Patents (Amendment) regulations, 2006. The closing amendments are made powerful from 5th May 2006.

There are four Schedules to the Patents (Amendment) rules 2005; the first agenda prescribes the expenses to be paid; the second one agenda specifies the list of bureaucracy and the texts of diverse forms required in connection with numerous sports below the Patents Act. Those forms are for use wherever required and if wished, they may be changed with the consent of the Controller. The third time table prescribes the form of Patent to be issued on the grant of the Patent. The Fourth agenda prescribe charges to be presented in diverse lawsuits before the Controller underneath the Act.

The Issue of Section 3d

Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act was first introduced in the year 2005, which states that:

“The mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that substance or the mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance or the mere use of a known process, machine or apparatus unless such known process results in a new product or employs at least one new reactant.”

A portion or elements incorporated into this Section are polymorphs, metabolites, molecule measure, isomers, blend of isomers, subordinate to substances, or any buildings.

To apply for the patent, the subjective part of the application should be patent capable. It implies that it ought to not comprise the classifications of innovations exempted for patentability, that is, underneath Section three of the Indian Patents Act. The patentable development should be novel, as well as creative advance and have business utility. The creation that falls underneath Section 3(d) has to expertise patent qualification take a look at 1st as adequacy aboard the opposite patentability take a look at.

Section 3(d) to boot denies patent qualification to a different utilization or new variety of identified atoms unless they augment higher useful effectualness over the past form. the opposite patent qualification condition underneath Section 3(d) is that the subsidiary of existing substance is believed to be indistinguishable to the present substance except for crucial distinction in properties in consonance with effectualness. An efficacious subsidiary of famed substances equipped for fulfilling patentability criteria will simply finish up patent qualified underneath Section 3(d).

Section 3(d) was introduced so as to stop the ever-greening of patents. This action was conjointly supported by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and business (FICCI) once they expressed that if Section 3(d) is removed, the Patents Act won’t be ready to stop Ever-greening of patents.

But what is Ever-greening?

Ever-greening fundamentally implies utilization of any accessible lawful, business, or/and mechanical methodologies which causes the makers to broaden their patents over items that are going to terminate, keeping in mind the end goal to hold eminences from them, by either taking out new patents (like new pharmaceutical blends, or related conveyance frameworks), or purchasing out, or disappointing contenders, for longer timeframes than would regularly be passable by law. So it, in fact, implies that ever-greening is alluded to rehearse whereby pharmaceutical firms expand their patent existence of a medication by acquiring extra 20-year patents for minor reformulations or different emphases of the medication, without essentially expanding the restorative efficacy.

  1. S. Concerns

Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act 1970 (amended in 2005) does not enable patent to be conceded to developments including new types of a known substance unless it contrasts altogether in properties with respect to helpful efficacy. In this manner, the Indian Patents Act does not permit ever-greening of patents. This has made a reason for worry for pharmaceutical organizations the U.S.

On 30th April 2014, USA brought out a special 301 report, which includes some flagged issues. The issues are given below: –

  • Issues of inter-alia concerns over the provisions of Section 3(d) of the Patents Act which relates to the non-patentability of inventions involving chemical forms that do not show increased efficacy.
  • Issues of Compulsory License by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks under Section 84 of the Patents Act.
  • The inclusion of a statement relating to Compulsory License for green technologies in India’s National Manufacturing Policy and challenges relating to enforcement of IP rights.

This exceptional report is a one-sided measure taken by the United States under their Trades Act, 1974 to make weight on nations to build their Intellectual Property Rights insurance past the TRIPS understanding.

India has a settled authoritative, regulatory, and legal system to protect Intellectual Property Rights which meets its commitments under the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual property Rights while using the adaptabilities gave in the worldwide administration to address its formative concerns.

The Novartis Case

The exceptional case and moreover the case which targets specifically at the issue of section 3(d) of the Patents Act is the Novartis case . it is a landmark case by a bench of the Indian Supreme Court on the issue of whether Novartis could patent Gleevec in India, and become the zenith of a seven-year-lengthy suit battled by Novartis. The perfect courtroom maintained the Indian patent office’s dismissal of the patent application.

The patent application at the focus of the case become recorded by using Novartis in India in 1998 after India had consented to go into the world change employer and to comply with typically certified innovation concepts below the trips assent. As a feature of this understanding, India rolled out enhancements to its patent regulation; the finest of which became that earlier than these progressions, patents on gadgets had been no longer authorized, at the same time as thereafter they had been, though with barriers. Those progressions have become effective in 2005, so Novartis’ patent utility held up in a “letter drop” with others until at that factor, under the method that India prepared to deal with the trade. India moreover surpassed certain amendments to its patent regulation in 2005, simply beneath the watchful eye of the legal guidelines have become effective, which assumed a key part within the dismissal of the patent utility.

The patent utility asserted the last kind of Gleevec (the beta crystalline form of imatinib mesylate). In 1993, amid the time India did now not permit patents on objects, Novartis had patented imatinib, with salts vaguely designated, in many nations but couldn’t patent it in India.

the important thing contrasts between the two patent programs, had been that the 1998 patent application indicated the counterion (Gleevec is a particular salt – imatinib mesylate) while the 1993 patent application did not guarantee a selected salts nor did it specify mesylate, and the 1998 patent application decided the strong type of Gleevec – the way the individual debris are stuffed collectively right into a robust when the medicine itself is produced (this is breaking away forms via which the medication itself is described into capsules or packing containers) – while the 1993 patent software did not. The sturdy sort of imatinib mesylate in Gleevec is beta crystalline.

As gave beneath the trips assertion, Novartis linked for special advertising and marketing Rights (EMR) for Gleevec from the Indian Patent workplace and the EMR were conceded in November 2003. Novartis made usage of the EMR to gather orders towards some non-specific producers who had simply propelled Gleevec in India. Novartis set the value of Gleevec at USD 2666 for each affected person for every month; bland corporations had been presenting their renditions at USD 177 to 266 for every patient for every month. Novartis additionally commenced a program to help sufferers who couldn’t manipulate the cost of its version of the medicine, simultaneous with its item dispatch.

At the point whilst exam of Novartis’ patent application commenced in 2005, it went under set off an attack from regulations commenced through non-precise organizations that have been at that point imparting Gleevec in India and by using promotion gatherings. The software was disregarded with the aid of the patent office and by a hobby board. The key motive for the dismissal changed into the piece of Indian patent law that turned into made through a change in 2005, portraying the patentability of recent makes use of for recognized medicines and modifications of recognized medicines. Section 3(d) of the revised Act, determined that such innovations are patentable just at the off risk that “they range altogether in houses regarding efficacy.” At one point, Novartis went to the courtroom to attempt to refute Section 3(d); it contended that the arrangement changed into illegally obscures and that it abused TRIPS. Novartis lost that case and did no longer request. Novartis appealed the dismissal by using the patent office to India’s Supreme Court, which took the case.

The Supreme Court case became especially primarily based upon the understanding of section 3(d). The Supreme Court gave the verdict that the substance that Novartis attempted to patent became to be sure an adjustment of a recognized medication (the crude type of imatinib, which turned into brazenly revealed in the 1993 patent application and in logical articles), that Novartis did not present affirmation of a distinction in restorative efficacy among the ultimate type of Gleevec and the crude type of imatinib, and that during this manner the patent software become legitimately dismissed by the patent office and lower co.

Regardless of the fact that the court controlled just by way of a touch inception, and took care to pay attention to that the subject application became recorded amid a duration of progress in Indian patent regulation, the selection produced across the board global news scope and reignited banters on adjusting open extremely good with monopolistic estimating and development with moderateness. Had Novartis gained and gotten its patent issued, it couldn’t have saved generics groups in India from intending to offer non-exclusive Gleevec, however, it could have devoted them to pay a realistic eminence below a granddad announcement included into India’s patent regulation.


We can now surely say that the amendment brought in the Indian Patents Acts, 1970, namely Section 3(d), which was the most disputed as well as the most controversial amendment brought in so far with relation to patents in India, has clear intentions that it was created in order to safeguard the true meaning and intent of providing the patent rights to pharmaceutical companies in India so that they are not able to extend the patent rights for just a mere discovery of any associated substance which does not enhance the efficacy.

Even if it has been flagged by the United States as a topic of concern, there have been many cases where the section has played a major role in preventing the pharmaceutical companies from ever-greening their patents. It is in this manner watched that regardless of whether debated, Section 3(d) does not disregard the TRIPS order and rather, counteracts pointless patenting without ignoring profitable incremental developments in pharmaceuticals and it is exceptionally well good with TRIPS assent.

By Rishabh

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