The 1995 Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement requires developing countries to grant product patents in pharmaceuticals. Developing countries have explored additional measures to address potential negative effects of the law on public health. This article examines India’s section 3(d), which restricts patents on incremental pharmaceutical innovations, and the degree to which Indian patent laws on the books impact patent grant rates when compared to Europe, a jurisdiction without 3(d) provisions.
Looking at 2,803 applications for patents filed in both India and in Europe, the researchers examined whether the patents triggering 3(d) considerations were less likely to be granted in India as compared to Europe.
Patents for innovation and diffusion in pharmaceuticals play an important role in public health globally. This study addresses the question of section 3(d)’s influence on patents in India, showing that the section 3(d) provision does not make Indian patent law very different from other jurisdictions.