Supreme Court Rejects the Appeal Filed By Bayer in Nexavar Licence Case

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On Friday, the hon’ble Supreme Court rejected the appeal against the High Court of Bombay filed by the Bayer Corp. The High Court in July declined to cancel a compulsory license granted to Natco Pharma BSE at 3.38 % to sell off single version of the drug produced in Germany known as Nexavar which is used as drug for kidney cancer. The proceedings of the case was observed by various pharmaceutical companies abroad as the implications of the result on the drugs that are patented which are wanted by the activists will not be affordable to ordinary people. As per the Indian authorities, it is essential to guarantee the rights provided to the citizens for the purpose of getting new medicine at reasonable price.

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The bench consisted of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman who dismissed the appeal initiated by the company on the reason that the Court had already pronounced an order under the claim made by the Company and it had not made any new research. The Apex Court meant that Hyderabad based Natco can precede with the sale of sample of drug and the Bayer can have the patent. Sorafenib is the drug sold by local company that costs around the portion of the price of the original drug. According to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual property Rights (TRIPS), if a Government permits a company to produce and sell drugs that are patented without the sanction of the company that innovated the drugs, compulsory licensing can be imposed.

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In 2012, Natco got the first compulsory license from India for the purpose of producing and selling the best-seller drug. The Bayer moved to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board questioning the conclusion reached by the Controller General of Patents. The appellate board stayed the assessment of the patent office that would put at risk public interest that requires drug and the Bayer puts forward the reason that it enhances quality of life. The High Court was of the opinion that it is not fair to interfere with the ruling of the Board. When the matter came before the Supreme Court, Bayer raised the argument that compulsory licensing was granted infringing its intellectual property. But the Court rejected the contention and dismissed the appeal.