Compulsory Licensing of Patents in India

Compulsory Licensing of Patents in India

Shinu Vig (Amity Business School, India) and Teena Bagga (Amity Business School, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2414-4.ch008
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Abstract

Compulsory licensing is defined generally as the granting of a license by a government to use a patent without the patent-holder's permission. As applied to international intellectual property rights, it allows governments to grant licenses for patent use in situations where the patent-holder is either not using the patent within the country or is not using it adequately. Most of the drugs for which compulsory licenses have been granted in India are used for treatment of life-threatening diseases. The pharmaceutical companies however object on the ground of violation of their patent rights. This chapter discusses the provisions for compulsory licensing in TRIPs and the India patent system.
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Introduction

Compulsory licensing is defined generally as the granting of a license by a government to use a patent without the patent-holder’s permission. As applied to international intellectual property rights, it allows governments to grant licenses for patent use in situations where the patent-holder is either not using the patent within the country or is not using it adequately. Although compulsory licensing is not a new concept, it recently has received considerable attention as pharmaceutical companies and activist groups seek to advance their respective political agendas over the right to drug access for life-threatening diseases. When governments issue compulsory licenses, the result is often a sharp decrease in prices, similar to the introduction of other competitive forces like generic drugs.’ For this reason, many developing nations argue for the right to issue compulsory licenses for pharmaceuticals that are normally very expensive for their citizens.” During the negotiations for the TRIPs agreement (Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property), however, most developed nations argued for strict restrictions on compulsory licenses to safeguard their domestic industries. In this backdrop, this paper presents a discussion on the provisions for compulsory licensing in TRIPs and India patent system.

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