SC refuses to stay Madras HC verdict on Roche’s plea

SC refuses to stay Madras HC verdict on Roche’s plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Madras High Court ruling that set aside Swiss drug major F Hoffman-La Roche’s patent related to its anti-infection drug Valganciclovir.

The High Court has set aside the patent as it wanted the Chennai patent office to hear the version of the Tamil Nadu Network of People with HIV/AIDS, a Tamil Nadu-based patent group, which had been opposing the patent before it was granted.

A bench headed by Justice S H Kapadia, while refusing to stay the High Court order, modified it asking the patent office to dispose of the matter by 31 January.

Besides, it said that the Madras High Court order should not affect another petition of Roche pending before the Bombay High Court, seeking injunction on Cipla’s decision to market a copy version of anti-infection drug Valganciclovir, patented by Roche under the brand name Valcept.

It said: “It is made clear that pending further orders of (the) Assistant Controller of Patents, Design and Trademarks" the Bombay High Court shall not dismiss Roche’s injunction plea.

The apex court also posted the matter for hearing on 10 February.