Our patent laws are WTO compliant: Kamal Nath

The commerce minister says the patent laws comply with intellectual property rules after the Madras HC dismisses a patent claim made by Novartis.
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Updated on Aug 07, 2007 05:06 PM IST
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IANS | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi

India's patent laws comply with intellectual property rules as set by the WTO, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said on Tuesday, a day after the Madras High Court dismissed a patent claim made by Swiss drug major Novartis.

"Our patent laws are WTO compliant. It's only one company that has raised the voice. In the last two years since Indian patent laws became WTO (World Trade Organisation) compliant, no one has ever made any complaint," Kamal Nath said in reference to Novartis' questions regarding the country's patent laws.

The minister on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Swiss government for cooperation in protecting and promoting intellectual property. As per the agreement, a joint committee would be set up to develop a dialogue on issues relating to intellectual property.

"We have to accept the settlement and the Swiss government never engages itself or questions any judicial announcements . This is a case with only one company," said Doris Leuthard, federal councillor, Department of Economic Affairs, Swiss Confederation.

Adding that the Swiss government was unlikely to discuss the issue at the WTO level, Leuthard said, "We should have reliable TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) system in WTO."

Novartis had moved court when the Assistant Controller of Patents, Chennai, rejected its application for a patent for the beta-crystalline version of its drug, imatinib mesylate, sold under the brand name Glivec and used in the treatment of blood cancer.

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