Natco files compulsory license request; USA approves temporary patent waiver; Ericsson and Samsung settle dispute and more

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In this week’s patent news: Natco files compulsory license request for Baricitinib; USA approves temporary patent waiver; EU critical of US proposal for patent waiver, calls for removal of export restrictions; Ericsson and Samsung settle latest patent dispute, sign global patent license agreement; WIPO publishes guide on “International Registration of Industrial Designs under the Hague Agreement” and USPTO hiring hundreds of new patent examiners. 

Natco files compulsory license request for Baricitinib

Hyderabad based generic drug manufacturer Natco Pharma Limited has a filed a request with the Controller of Patents seeking the grant of a compulsory license under Section 92(1) read with Section 92(3) of the Patents Act in respect of the drug Baricitinib. According to the application Baricitinib which has been approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis when used in combination with Remdesivir has shown potential in reducing recovery time and accelerating improvement in clinical status among patients with Covid-19, notably among those receiving high-flow oxygen or non-invasive ventilation. Natco has claimed that grounds under section 92 of the Act exist which include – Existence of a national public health emergency; Unmet need in India; Unmet need to due to lack of supply; and Unmet need due to price/lack of affordability among others. Given the urgency of the situation, a decision from the Controller may be expected soon subject to hearing the parties involved.

To view the compulsory license application filed by Natco, click here.

USA approves temporary patent waiver

The United States government on Wednesday (5th May 2021) announced that it “supports the waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines to help end the pandemic”. The official statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai states that the while the Biden administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, it supports the waiver of the IPR protections for COVID-19 vaccines, in service of ending the pandemic. The statement went on to further state that the US administration would actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) needed to ensure the patent waiver. These negotiations would however take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved.

The full official statement may be read here.

EU critical of US proposal for patent waiver, calls for removal of export restrictions

The European Union has criticized the US government for its proposal on temporary patent waivers for COVID-19 vaccines and instead urged Washington to lift the export restrictions place by the country so as to enable effective production of the vaccine. President of France, Emmanuel Macron called on the United States “to put an end to export bans not only on vaccines but on vaccine ingredients”. The President went on to further state that patents were not the priority and the key to producing vaccines more quickly for poor countries and developing countries was to produce more by lifting the export bans. German chancellor, Angela Merkel also rejected the US proposal and said ““I do not think that a patent waiver is the solution to make more vaccines available to more people, rather I think that we need the creativity and the power of innovation of companies, and to me, that includes patent protection.” Pope Francis however has stated that “the laws of the market or intellectual property cannot be put above the laws of love and the health of humanity”. Some other prominent personalities endorsing the patent waiver included World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Ericsson and Samsung settle latest patent dispute, sign global patent license agreement

Ericsson on Friday (7th May 2021) announced that Ericsson and Samsung have reached a multi-year agreement on global patent licenses between the two companies, including patents relating to all cellular technologies. The cross-license agreement covers sales of network infrastructure and handsets from January 1, 2021. According to Ericsson’s press release statement both the companies have agreed on technology cooperation projects to advance the mobile industry in open standardization and create valuable solutions for consumers and enterprises. This agreement also puts to rest all disputes including the complaints filed by both companies before the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) as well as the ongoing lawsuits in several countries. The details of the agreement are confidential and have not been disclosed.

USPTO hiring hundreds of new patent examiners 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking soon-to-be graduates and professionals with backgrounds in graphic design/art, as well as engineers with backgrounds in biomedical, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering to apply for hundreds of entry-level patent examiner positions in Alexandria, Virginia.

Full details available on USPTO’s official website.

WIPO publishes guide on “International Registration of Industrial Designs under the Hague Agreement”

WIPO, last week published a guide to “International Registration of Industrial Designs under the Hague Agreement”. The guide is primarily intended for applicants and holders of international registrations of industrial designs, as well as officials of the competent administrations of the Member States of the Hague Union. It leads them through the various steps of the international registration procedure and explains the essential provisions of the Hague Agreement.

Guide to the International Registration of Industrial Designs under the Hague Agreement


Authored by Gaurav Mishra

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