Vol. 1 (2005)

India’s Tryst With Trips: The Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005

Shamnad Basheer

The Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 introduces pharmaceutical product patents in India for the first time. This Act attempts to balance out competing interests of a variety of stakeholders, including domestic generic medicine producers, foreign multinational pharmaceutical companies and civil society groups concerned with access to medicines. Although this dexterous manoeuvring around competing interests deserves praise, the net result of such a compromise has been a lack of clarity in the law. While highlighting the key aspects of the 2005 amendments and this lack of clarity, this article also focuses on the vexed issue of the likely impact of the new regime on access to medicines. It notes that the provisions as they stand now could be interpreted in a manner that would leave considerable scope for the continued production of some generics. Whether these provisions would be so interpreted remains to be seen.

Author

Associate, Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre (OIPRC); B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) ’99, National Law School of India University; B.C.L. ’03, M. Phil ’05, D. Phil Candidate, St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford.