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THE PHARMA REVIEW APRIL - MAY 2007

Patent Law and Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

V.K. Shrivastava

Abstract: The law relating to patents is contained in the patents Act 1970, which came into force on April 20th, 1972. This Act was amended twice in 1999 and 2002 before the latest amendment in 2005. The amendments were carried out to meet India's obligations under the Agreement on TRIPS, which forms a part of the agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The first set of amendments was introduced in 1999 to put in place a mechanism for accepting product patent applications covering pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals from January 1, 1995 (better known as the mail-box provisions) and to provide exclusive marketing rights if certain conditions are fulfilled. While the second amendment which was introduced in 2002 aimed at bringing the Patents Act in conformity with all the relevant provisions included in the TRIPS Agreement, barring a solitary exception of extending the product patent regime in the field of pharmaceuticals, agro- chemicals and food.

 
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