The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which developing countries could build national initiatives of compulsory licences.
The focus of this article is only on developing countries. The author reflects on the Indian patent jurisprudence regarding the operational relationship between the general principles applicable to working of patented inventions locally and the grant of compulsory licences. The discussion that follows is based on a review of the case: Bayer Corporation versus Natco Pharma with a view to presenting a model for developing countries to maintain that the public interest principle of patent law is well-founded in their domestic patent regimes.
The analysis confirms that failure to work locally continues to be abusive of the patent right under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, and remains a valid condition on which to grant a compulsory licence. Thus, this reverses the often-contrary misconception that has become almost a unanimous assumption that failure to work basis for granting compulsory licensing would violate Article 27(1) of TRIPS and its enforcement provisions on patent.
The author argues that as no member state has challenged the legality of Indian’s decision in the World Trade Organisation, under the dispute settlement understanding (DSU) system is more supportive of the contention that failure to work locally continues to be permissible under TRIPS and remains valid conditions on which member states can grant compulsory licences. This further adds weight to the understanding that nothing in the light of TRIPS would, in fact, preclude any possibility of developing countries amending their patent laws accordingly to maintain that the public interest principle underlining patent law is well-founded in their domestic patent regimes.
Manu, T. (2015), "Building national initiatives of compulsory licences: Reflecting on the Indian jurisprudence as a model for developing countries", Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 23-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/JITLP-07-2014-0015
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