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Patents: Appellate Board Becomes Functional

two years the Board remained had remained non-functional because the technical member had not been appointed.

Hence the Novartis appeal in the court. Towards the fag end of the hearings in the case, the government announced that the Board had become functional.

(The court has reserved orders on the Novartis petition challenging the validity of the an amendment to the patent laws. Citing that amendment only the Controller had rejected the drug firm’s patent application.)

Apart from the Novartis case, another prominent appeal to come up before the Appellate Board will be Wockhardt’s. It is challenging the denial of patent for a new version of nadifloxacin. a topical antibiotic sold under the brand name Nadoxin.

Another drug firm Cipla had filed a pre-grant opposition to Wockhardt's patent application, claiming that similar drugs already existed in the market. Subsequently, the Indian patent office denied Wockhardt a patent for its antibiotic on the grounds of 'prior art' -- Wockhardt's so-called innovation was information already in the public domain.

Significantly the patent office's refusal to grant a patent to nadifloxacin came a few months after it rejected Novartis' patent application for Glivec. Wockhardt had filed its appeal in the Bombay High Court.
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