Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development
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Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development

Development Agendas in a Changing World

Edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe

This comprehensive book considers new and emerging IP issues from a development perspective, examining recent trends and developments in this area. Presenting an overview of the IP landscape in general, the contributing authors subsequently narrow their focus, providing wide-ranging case studies from countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America on topical issues in the current IP discourse. These include the impact of IP on the pharmaceutical sector, the protection of life forms and traditional knowledge, geographical indications, access to knowledge and public research institutes, and the role of competition policy. The challenges developing countries face in the TRIPS-Plus world are also explored in detail.
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Chapter 6: The Case of the Generic Industry in India

Biswajit Dhar and K.M. Gopakumar


Biswajit Dhar and K.M. Gopakumar1 INTRODUCTION Since the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations were initiated, different authorities, stakeholders and interest groups in India have been analysing the issue of intellectual property rights. The accompanying debate has mostly focused on changes to the patent regime that the TRIPS Agreement would create and the implications that these changes would have on access to medicines. This debate has a historical basis in India. One of the first laws that the country took up for review after it became a sovereign state in 1947 was the patent law.2 Two expert groups examined the patent regime existing at that time and the Indian Parliament considered the findings in depth.3 The culmination of this process was the Patents Act of 1970, which is widely considered as the basis for the development of a strong pharmaceutical industry in India. The changes effected by the Patents Act of 1970 had at least three major implications for the pharmaceutical industry. In the first place, only process patents were allowed in the area of chemicals, which included pharmaceuticals. Second, the term of patent was reduced for process patents in pharmaceuticals. In all other areas the term of patent was fixed at 14 years from the date of application for the patent; for pharmaceuticals the term of patent was seven years from the date of application for a patent or five years from its date of grant, whichever was shorter. Lastly, instead of compulsory licences, a system of licences of...

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