The battle for enforcement of rights of patent holder and sovereign rights of governments to enact appropriate laws is taking increasingly partisan shades. In keeping with global trade agreements such as TRIPS, India has amended its patent laws a few years ago. However, court judgements since then have not always been in favour of the MNC patent holder. The core issue is interpretation of having to show ‘inventive step’ in order to obtain patent protection.
The pharma industry is especially in the eye of a storm with US FDA rejecting several drugs from India in the US market and at the same time putting pressure on India to tighten its patent enforcement regime.
Should India give in to the developed world’s notion of intellectual property rights or should India pursue its domestic interests and concerns within the framework of UNCTAD ‘Core Principles for Investment Policymaking for Sustainable Development’?
There are many positive ways for business to make a difference in the lives of the poor - not through philanthropy but though initiatives that, over time, will help build new markets.
Kofi Annan: World Economic Forum