Millennium Post

Supreme Court to decide pharma patent, take up marines’ case

The Supreme Court will pronounce an important judgment on Monday on a Swiss pharma firm’s plea asserting its patent over a medicine, and on Tuesday take up Sterlite’s plea opposing the order to shut down its plant as well as the case of the Italian marines.

In a judgment that would have a far-reaching implication for the Indian pharmaceutical industry, the court will rule on Novartis AG plea seeking a patent for the beta-crystalline form of imatinib mesylate, which is used in the treatment of chronic mycloid leukaemia.

International drug makers are critical of Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act which says that mere discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the enhancement of the known efficacy of that substance does not qualify for patent protection.

The next important judgment will be on Tuesday on the plea by Sterlite Industries India Limited challenging the Madras High Court order directing it to close down its Tuticorin copper-smelting plant for violating environmental norms.

The Madras High Court, by it on 28 September, 2010 order, had directed the immediate closure of the plant. The apex court, by its interim order of 1 October , 2010, had stayed the operation of the high court order.

The case of two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, which had become a hot diplomatic and legal issue after Italy reneged on the undertaking given by its Ambassador Daniele Mancini on their return, is listed before the court of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir on Tuesday.

The court may have a fresh look on its earlier order restraining Italian ambassador Mancini from leaving the country.
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