Both Brazil and South Africa have been greatly influenced by India’s decision to incorporate TRIPS(Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) flexibilities designed to prevent ever greening of patents and to increase access to affordable medicines. Most global experts ET spoke to feel that the globally debated Supreme Court judgment on Glivec became a critical trigger in reviving patents reform across emerging economies .
” I think that the Indian Legislation has influenced both the South Africa draft IP policy and the Brazilian proposed to reform of the patent laws.” Carlos Correa, an eminent IP expert.
Brazil tabled in a report that its Parliament proposed changes in its patent policy that ” clarifies matters that are not considered to be invention, such as new use patents and new forms of known substance, along the lines of Indian Patent Act.”
Spirit of Granting stronger patents
It is also recommended to increase in the standard of inventive step in order to promote incremental innovation along the line of Patent Act. South Africa in its draft patent policy on which it has invited public comments, has recommended allowing opposition to a patent before and after it is awarded “to effectively foster spirit of granting stronger patents.”
South Africa in its draft patent policy on which it has invited public comments , has recommended allowing opposition to a patent before and afterwards it is awarded to effectively foster spirit of granting stronger patents. A draft released recently states that India resorted to pre-and post grant opposition to facilitate a possibility of opposing weaker patents. Experts now feel that many smaller economies in Africa and Latin America will inititate similar patent reforms to protect public health interests at home.
“One can expect with these two powerful technologically proficient developing countries making move and other developing countries are likely to follow suit.”
According to Basheer, BigPharma’s anguish at India striking a different patent chord was not so much about the relativity minuscule Indian Market and their expected losses from patent invalidation and compulsory licensing. It was more about the fear of other countries following suit and this fear is now playing out. Bakers said that by moving in same direction India, South Africa, Brazil all BRICS members are also developing an IP leadership that is having positive precendential effect in other countries such as Uganda and Zambia. The development comes when India’s jurisprudence on patents is still evolving and the court’s decision on many important patent battles such as the one between US multinational Merk Sharp and Dohme and domestic firm Glenmark.