Policy ForumIntellectual Property

Challenges to India's Pharmaceutical Patent Laws

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Science  27 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6093, pp. 414-415
DOI: 10.1126/science.1224892

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The Indian Supreme Court will soon hear final arguments in a challenge by the pharmaceutical company Novartis against the Indian Patent Office's (IPO) rejection of a patent for the leukemia drug Glivec. We discuss key issues, particularly the patentability of new compounds versus variants of existing compounds, and how the outcome of the case might affect patent terms and access to drugs in the developing world.