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Jul
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ragupathyrenganathan
Abbott Biotech allowed to appeal against cancellation of patent for Humira drug
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The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) on Tuesday allowed US pharma major Abbott Biotechnology to file an appeal against the order that cancelled the patent for its Humira drug, touted to be a blockbuster medicine for treating severe forms of arthritis. The patent was cancelled on a review petition by Glenmark Pharmaceutical.

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) on Tuesday allowed US pharma major Abbott Biotechnology to file an appeal against the order that cancelled the patent for its Humira drug, touted to be a blockbuster medicine for treating severe forms of arthritis. The patent was cancelled on a review petition by Glenmark Pharmaceutical.

In a jolt to Abbott, the patent office in December last year had set aside its earlier order that granted a patent to the company’s Humira drug. The patent office was directed by the Delhi High Court to review its own decision of granting the patent to Abbott while disposing of an appeal by Glenmark, which alleged that its pre-grant opposition was not considered by the controller while granting the patent.

Disposing of the issue of maintainability of appeal against a ‘review petition’, the IPAB bench comprising Justice KN Basha, chairman, and DPS Parmar, technical member, patents, said though the impugned order was given on a review petition as directed by the Delhi High Court, it can be treated as equivalent to a pre-grant opposition, and hence an appeal against the said order was maintainable. The IPAB bench has asked its registry to number the appeal, if all other requirements are met, in order to hear the matter.

Abbott was granted a patent to Humira drug on June 8, 2009. In the meantime, Glenmark had filed a pre-grant opposition on September 4, 2008, which was not brought to the notice of the controller responsible for grant of patents as the documents relating to the said opposition were neither scanned nor uploaded electronically.

When Abbott brought to the notice of the controller on July 7, 2009, that a patent has been granted without considering the pre-grant opposition filed by them, the then controller treated the patent letter as cancelled on October 30, 2009.

Glenmark filed a writ petition on September 22, 2009, before the Delhi HC against the order of the controller that granted the patent. However, in view of the order dated October 30, 2009, issued by the then controller, the court disposed of the writ petition as infructuous.

Abbott also filed a writ petition against the order of the controller’s October 30, 2009, order cancelling the said patent. After considering both the writ petitions the Delhi High Court on September 9, 2010, held that pre-grant opposition filed by Glenmark should be treated as the petition seeking review of decision of the controller to grant patent to Abbott and the order of the controller of October 30, 2009, was also set aside.



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