Amul trade mark case

The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd and the GCMMF had filed trade mark infringement cases against two local shop owners – Amul Chasmaghar and its partners and Amul Cut Piece Stores in the District Court, Anand. The District Court, Anand passed an order dated 25-4-07, ruling that it was a clear case of infringement and restrained the two from using theAmul trade mark. Amul Chasmaghar had challenged this interim injunction in the Gujarat High Court. Hon’ble Justice, Shri D. N. Patel of Gujarat High Court upheld the ruling of the District Court and ruled that the order passed by the trial court is true, correct, legal and in consonance with the facts of the case as well as in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1999.

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KSR’s test of obviousness applied to pharmaceutical formulations

King Pharmaceuticals markets Altace and it has sales of over USD 900 million in the US market. Ramipril is one of the ACE (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme) inhibitors, which are useful for treating high blood pressure.

In March 2005, Lupin Ltd made a generic drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration, using the paragraph IV certification pertaining to generics launches for patented drugs. King Pharmaceuticals and Sanof- Aventis sued Lupin for patent infringement. The District Court ruled against Lupin. This month The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the district court decision which said Lupin had infringed the patent. The court's decision makes Aventis' patent on Ramipril invalid on the grounds that the invention was obvious. The Court of Appeals applied the test of KSR TSM [teaching suggestion Motivation] to hold the Ramipril patent to be invalid.

Canada’s Cobalt Pharmaceuticals was the first company to challenge Sanofi-Aventis’ patent for Altace, Though King filed a patent infringement case against Cobalt initially, the two companies reached an out-of-court settlement, under which Cobalt was granted a non-exclusive right to market a generic capsule formulation of Ramipril. Lupin was the second firm to challenge the patent.

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Thoughts on Changes in Patent Practice

Currently, at the four branches at the Patent Office, 2 series of application numbers one the normal series such as 345/MUM/2007 and the NP series e.g. 345/MUMNP/2007 are being applied. This creates confusion at the time of ordering specifications and a lot of errors in filing as well as responding to cases. Further persons outside India, not familiar with the system also find it difficult to understand. There is no reason why a single series of numbers should not be followed. No other country in the world follows this dual numbering system. It is therefore suggested from next year i.e. 2008 only a single numbering system should be followed at the branch offices

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