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Submission + - India's Patent Law: The Law That Saved a Billion Lives? Really? (

jungly writes: An article from OPEN The Magazine tells the story of how India's patent laws have evolved since 1913, and how the changes in 2013 could cause some business models to change.

The article then talks about how the seemingly 'protective' Indian system was challenged when India joined the WTO, and then now how the latest ruling against Novartis is playing out.

It is the conclusion that seems the most exciting. A possible co-operation amongst poorer countries to innovate for the common good. Too much idealism maybe, but it is a nice thought.

And this brings us to the crux of the matter. India represents 1.3 per cent of the global pharmaceutical market by value. We are a poor country, and a resolutely low-cost generics market to boot. Certainly, there is money to be made here; it’s just that the money is little or nothing when set against the industry’s global bottomline. On its own, India cannot improve the way the industry innovates, regardless of the strength of its patent law, because it lacks clout. The real problem for global majors is the symbolic value of the Supreme Court’s justification of Indian patent law. You will not hear this problem expressed publicly, because expressing it will only make it worse, but rest assured CEOs in London, New York and Basel are worrying about it. The real threat posed by Indian patent law is that other countries may want it too. If that happens on a large enough scale—and it’s a big if—an unjustifiable business model will be upended and we may finally see innovation and access going hand-in-hand.

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India's Patent Law: The Law That Saved a Billion Lives? Really?

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