So India has moved to adopt a new patent law. Necessary to gain admittance in the WTO, it may act as a new hurdle and barrier for the delivery of low cost drugs in India. The news is pretty dismal, as is the reporting, which is pretty appalling. Either the new law is still in amorphous mode, many of the key provisions left unspecified, or reporters are doing a lackluster job (probably a bit of both).
For example in the New York Times article, the author explains:
“Under the new law, a maker of generics can apply to copy a patented drug, but only after it has been marketed for three years. In addition, the patent owner can object.”
“the patent owner can object…” And what may this mean? Of course they object. That is a given. But can they easily strike down the application nearly every time? Or just voice a resounding, NO WAY, keep away from my patents? I mean, of course the patent owner can object if the maker of generics must apply but a sense of the procedure of objection may help, a little.