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COVID-19 patent pool opposed as Pfizer and AstraZeneca see no incentive and other patent news
In this week’s Patent News – IPO creates new provision through the e-filing system for filing a Petition to Condone delay under sub-rule (6) of Rule 6; IPO adjourns all show cause hearings via public notice; WHO and Costa Rica officially launch COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP); U.S Patent and Trademark Appeal Board invalidates Sanofi’s patents; Pfizer, AstraZeneca and other pharma giant’s express concerns over COVID-19 patent pool and other news updates.
INDIA PATENT NEWS
IPO creates new provision through the e-filing system for filing a Petition to Condone delay under sub-rule (6) of Rule 6
The Indian Patent Office (IPO) has created a new provision on the patent e-filing portal to enable applicants to directly file a Petition to Condone delay under sub-rule (6) of Rule 6. According to the public notice issued on 20th May 2020, all stakeholders can file a petition to condone delay or request for an extension of time to file responses, documents relating to various proceedings under the Patents Act and corresponding rules through the new provision on the patent e-filing. The Petition under sub-rule (6) of Rule 6 can be filed under Form 30, without fee. The notice also explains that the Petition must be filed within one month from the date on which the national lockdown ceases to exist.
You may click here to access the notice.
IPO adjourns all show cause hearings via public notice
As per a public notice issued by the Indian Patent Office on 22nd May 2020, all show-cause hearings scheduled until 31st May 2020 have been adjourned till further notice.
You may click here to access the notice.
PATENT AND DESIGN INFRINGEMENT NEWS UPDATES
EUIPO invalidates Chinese company’s counterfeit Vespa design
According to a press release by Piaggio Group, the Italian company that manufactures Vespa, EUIPO has rejected a design patent of an un-named Chinese company on the ground that it was strikingly similar to that of the Vespa Primavera. The EUIPO examined the designs after Piaggio filed a formal complaint with the international body. In its complaint, Piaggio had alleged that the Chinese company had displayed two scooters, similar to the Vespa design at the 2019 EICMA Motor Show with the brand name – Dayi Motor and Motulux. On examining the designs, EUIPO annulled the design registration of the Chinese company and said that it was “incapable of eliciting a different general impression with respect to the registered design.”
INTERNATIONAL PATENT NEWS UPDATE
Pfizer, AstraZeneca and other pharma giant’s express concerns over COVID-19 patent pool
In an effort to provide equitable access to COVID-19 health products, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Costa Rican government had previously announced the establishment of a new voluntary technology pooling initiative. With regard to the same, pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, AstraZeneca and certain other companies have begun to oppose the establishment of the voluntary pool. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, Alber Bourla has said that the idea is “dangerous.” Further, the Chief Executive of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot said “a fundamental part of our industry and if you don’t protect IP, then essentially, there is no incentive for anybody to innovate. What is important is for companies to volunteer to provide their products at no profit, like we’re doing right now in case of a pandemic or crisis, when it’s needed.”
The voluntary patent pool was launched by the WHO in association with the Chilean and Costa Rican Government on 29th May 2020.
China’s new Civil Code provides punitive damages for intentional IP infringement
On 28th May 2020, the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the “Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China.” The new civil code that is said to come into effect on 1st January 2021 contains a number of provisions related to Intellectual Property Rights. As reported by National Law Review, the Civil Code has created a provision to impose punitive damages on intentional IP infringement. This provision is likely to have a significant impact on patent infringement cases as the current patent law does not have a provision for punitive damages. Further, the Supreme People’s Court is working on the “Interpretation of Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law on Punitive Compensation for Intellectual Property Infringement.” According to National Law Review, the Civil Code is likely to precede the Supreme People’s Court’s project’s issuance.
WHO and Costa Rica officially launch COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP)
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Costa Rican Government officially launched the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) on 29th May 2020. The voluntary patent pool was first proposed by the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado to offer easy access to COVID-19 related vaccines, treatments, diagnostics and other products. On receiving full support from the WHO and many countries, C-TAP was officially launched by the duo.
The official WHO press release reads “C-TAP will be voluntary and based on social solidarity. The aim is to accelerate the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open-science research, and to fast-track product development by mobilizing additional manufacturing capacity.”
In addition to the launch of the pool, the WHO and the Costa Rica have issued a “Solidarity Call to Action,” inviting governments, research and development organizations etc., to join the initiative.
You may click here for more information.
Authored and compiled by Vibha Amarnath
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