ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: No Room for Product Patents

Vol XVII, No 4, january 23, 1965

No Room for Product Patents

One of the principal issues on which the controversy over patents law in India has come to be centred is whether in the field of chemical products, food articles and drugs and pharmaceutical products should be made unpatentable and patents should be restricted to processes. The justification for such a change in law is that whereas a product patent gives the patentee the monopoly of that product, under a system of process patents the same product could be manufactured by different patentees using different processes. In his “Report on the Revision of the Patents Law” submitted to the Government of India in 1959 Justice N Rajagopala Ayyangar recorded that: “the denial of product claims is necessary in order that such important articles of daily use as medicine or food which are vital to the health of the community should be made available to every one at reasonable prices and that no monopoly should be granted in respect of such articles. It is considered that the refusal of product patents would enlarge the area of competition and thus result in the production of these articles in sufficient quantity and at the lowest possible cost to the public.”

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