Gil C /
12 May 2015Asia

Indian Patent Office rejects J&J’s HIV drug patent

The Indian Patent Office has rejected Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutica’s application to patent its HIV drug Edurant (rilpivirine), according to a report by The Financial Express.

The report said that Indian pharma company Cipla had filed an opposition against Janssen’s application, arguing that the applied-for patent lacked inventive step.

Shri Meena, assistant controller of patents and designs at the Indian Patent Office (IPO) in Delhi, was quoted as saying in the paper: “I conclude that the invention as claimed in claims of the application is not patentable under Section 2(1)(j) of the Patents Act as being devoid of inventive step.

“The claims also lack sufficiency of disclosure as required under Section 10 of the Patent Act. In the light of the above discussion I refuse to proceed with the application for grant of patent.”

In 2014, Edurant made worldwide sales of $365 million. A spokesperson for Cipla told LSIPR that as part of its IPR strategy, it challenges patent applications it believes to be “weak or ought not to be granted.”

The IPO has been contacted for comment. Johnson & Johnson did not respond to LSIPR’s request for comment at the time of writing.

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