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The Larger Implications of the Novartis Glivec Judgment

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The Supreme Court judgment on the Novartis-Glivec case is remarkable because it has gone beyond the specific technical and legal issues surrounding patents and has put the matter in a much larger political and economic perspective. The deeper implication of the judgment is that it is not only justified to deny patents when incremental innovation is trivial as in the Glivec case. The judgment has linked the entire question of patenting with net benefits to society and has highlighted the relevance of specific conditions of a country for deciding the appropriate patent regime. What the judgment says and what it implies has tremendous significance for the patent regimes in developing countries beyond the secondary patenting issues.

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