Compulsory Licensing of Patents: The Bayer/Natco Case
On 9th March 2012 the Indian Controller of Patents granted the first compulsory licence in India. Indian generics producer Natco Pharma Ltd. has been granted the right to produce and sell in India Bayer’s patented medicine “Sorafenib”, which is useful for treating advanced stage liver and kidney cancer.
After a brief introduction on cumpulsory licences under the TRIPS Agreement and the Paris Convention, the author verifies whether the decision of the Controller of Patents satisfies the conditions set forth by the these international treaties in relation to compulsory licences. He concludes inter alia that the ruling might be in violation of the non discrimination principle enshrined in Article 27(1) TRIPS.
General comments are also made about the role of compulsory licensing in guaranteeing the availability of patented products to a wide range of consumers and in general the transfer and dissemination of the associated technology.
For the full article written by Enrico Bonadio see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2157477