9 January 2015Asia

Glenmark Pharma celebrates as Abbott patent revoked

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has been handed victory after the Indian Patent Office (IPO) reversed a ruling that had granted a patent to US company Abbott Biotechnology for its anti-arthritis drug Humira (adalimumab).

It comes after the IPO was directed by the Delhi High Court to review its own decision to grant a patent to Abbott.

The dispute between the pair can be traced back to 2009, when Abbott was granted a patent for the drug, used to treat severe forms of arthritis.

The previous year Mumbai-based Glenmark had filed a pre-grant opposition to the patent that was allegedly not brought to the notice of IPO officials, as the documents were neither scanned nor uploaded electronically.

After the patent was granted, Glenmark filed a writ petition against the decision before the Delhi High Court in September 2009.

The Delhi High Court, after considering the petition, held that Glenmark’s pre-grant opposition should be treated as a petition seeking a review of the IPO’s decision.

In its petition, Glenmark had argued that the application’s claims do not constitute an invention under the Indian Patents Act and were not novel or inventive.

“After having considered all the circumstances … I conclude that the impugned invention as disclosed in the specification and claims is obvious to person[s] skilled in the art and hence lacking in inventive step,” ruled K.S Kardam, the IPO’s senior joint controller of patents and designs, according to Indian newspaper The Financial Express on January 7.

“I am also of the opinion that the description of the invention is also insufficient and ambiguous as described in the specification,” Kardam added.

Neither Glenmark nor Abbott responded immediately to a request for comment.

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