Drug patent trends in India

Patients everywhere would benefit from top-down reform to align India’s patent law with global norms say Pravin Anand and Archana Shanker.

To protect the IP of innovators and ensure the latest life­saving medicines are able to reach patients in India, the country’s patent system must begin to reflect established international norms. Indeed, the rapid increase in cases where patents are revoked, denied or otherwise infringed sets a dangerous precedent that could effectively bar new pharmaceuticals from being approved in India as innova­tors become increasingly wary that their IP could simply be expropriated without proper compensation.

However, just as each nation must consider its culture, values and norms when crafting laws and regulations, India’s patent system must remain fundamentally Indian. The challenge for the Indian government will lie in creating a system that rewards innovation and risk, and also remains in sync with long-established international precedents and laws.

This article was published in India Business Law Journal November 2013.

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