Crisis and Hope: The Battle between Public Health and Patenting

Article Author : Sheel Chandra

Ellen T’Hoen, former executive director of the Medicines Patent Pool, once recounted a story of crisis and hope. In 2002, there was a young man, a Kenyan social scientist, who was diagnosed with HIV and needed access to treatment. 2002 was a time when many people in countries in Europe and the U.S. lived with HIV, and lived healthy lives, but infected people in countries like Kenya, were told that there was no treatment. Prices for antiretroviral (ARVs), which were used to treat HIV, cost about $12000 per patient per year, a death sentence. These drugs were patented by huge multinational pharmaceutical firms which had exclusive rights to the manufacture and distribution of the drugs and were not quite willing to make those available. A patent can be used to exclude anyone from making low-cost, generic versions of those drugs and patent wars circled all over the world in the backdrop of an AIDS crisis.

India, luckily for Nelson Otwoma, the Kenyan social scientist, and his three-year old son who was also diagnosed, did not recognize pharmaceutical patents under its Patent Act of 1970. While this infuriated the United States’ PhRMA, Indian pharmaceutical companies like Cipla would take advantage of the absence of product patent laws and reverse-engineer drugs manufactured by industrial giants, and sell them at discounted prices in developing and under-developed countries. In less than a year, the price of the AIDS cocktail went down from $10,000 to $350 per patient per year. This price went down even more-so by 2014, when it was sold for $60 per patient per year. Nelson Otwoma is now a treatment activist and is the national coordinator for NEPHAK, National Empowerment Network of People living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya. India believed the Patent Act of 1970 to be a win for public health. The multi-national companies, however, saw it as a crisis for innovation.1 Read More >>

An analysis of Indirect Tax changes in Budget 2019.

The Hon’ble Prime Minister has announced an ambitious plan of bringing India to a 5 trillion dollar economy. Clearly GST has included various businesses under the formal economy and would continue to support the country’s economy to grow by rationalisation of taxation regime. The ease of trading across borders is also an important factor in ease of doing business which in turn will help in boosting trade and economic activity.Several measures proposed in  the fine print of Budget 2019 through amendments in the Acts and insertion of provisions is aimed at this.

Following are the gist of indirect taxation announcements in the Union Budget 2019.

Goods and Services Tax

A Proviso has been inserted to clarify that interest for late payment of tax shall be levied only on that portion of tax which has been paid by debiting the electronic cash ledger. Earlier there was confusion among taxpayers on this issue whether such interest would be charged on gross tax liability or only on net tax liability.

However, there is one exception to this rule wherein interest shall be levied on gross tax liability. Where returns are filed subsequent to initiation of any proceedings under GST Act, the interest shall be levied on the gross tax liability.

Now every registered person has to authenticate, or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number. If an Aadhaar number is not assigned to the registered person, such person will be offered an alternate and viable means of identification. In case of failure to undergo authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or furnish alternate and viable means of identification, registration allotted to such person shall be deemed to be invalid.

Now a registered person can transfer any amount of tax, interest, penalty, fee or any other amount available in the electronic cash ledger to the electronic cash ledger for Integrated Tax, Central Tax, State Tax, Union Territory Tax or Cess through a new Form PMT-09 subject to the conditions and restrictions prescribed under GST Act. Such transfer shall be deemed to be a refund from the electronic cash ledger…Read More 





Adv.Sanjeev Srivastava, Director MVPL Pvt.Ltd.


Patents are generally granted to ideas that are novel, useful and or non obvious depending on the situations. One situation where a patent may be available is when a person invents or discovers a new and useful machine, composition of matter, manufactured good, or process; or improves upon any of these. A patent for this type of situation is called a utility patent, and it is the most common type of patent sought in all countries. A design patent is available to protect the unique appearance or design of a manufactured object. Please keep in mind that if a person wants to protect both the utility and the ornamentality of an object, he or she will need to file both a utility patent and a design patent.

The final type of patent that a person can apply for and acquire is a plant patent. Plant patents are available for the invention or discovery of a new and distinct plant. In order to receive patent protection for a plant, the applicant must be able to reproduce the plant asexually.

Regardless of the type of patent you’re seeking to obtain, you must file a patent application with the Controller of Patents, Government of India, the government body responsible for reviewing and determining if an invention or discovery is eligible for patent protection…..Read More 





   Export Incentives in India: An Analysis


Sanjeev Srivastava,

Director, Mitraon Vanasthali Pvt.Ltd.


For many developing countries, exports serve the purpose of earning foreign currency with which they can buy essential imports—foreign products that they are not able to manufacture, mine, or grow at home. Developing countries, in other words, sell exports, in part, so that they can import. Exporting goods and services can also further advance developing nations’ domestic economies.

Interconnectivity through global trade can be problematic, though.  For example, up until 2008, Japan had a booming export business with the United States.  When American consumers became unable to buy Japanese products, Japanese companies lost a large portion of their consumer base (Ryuhei, 2009)….ReadMore

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