Sunday, October 7, 2018

Transfer Of The Patent Rights In Pharmaceutical Industry

Patents are granted for the sole purpose of protecting the inventions and to encourage further such inventions in future. The government of India grants the patent rights to the applicant for his invention. The patent provides the right to the owner to exclude others from using, producing, manufacturing and selling the same product or service in the market. 

As we know, a patent is a form of property, the rights entrusted to the owner of the patent can be transferred to another person by way of granting a license. One can take help from the pharmaceutical patent analyst before transfering the patent rights to anyone. According to the Indian Patent Acts, both the parties must agree to the transfer of the license to the patent in writing along with the rights and obligations of both the parties to be provided to the authorities in writing.

1. Patent assignment

The assignment here means transferring the entire rights pertaining to the patent such as ownership. As per the definition provided in section 16 of the India Patent Act, Assignment of patent rights is the transfer of the patent by the patentee by a part or all of its part, title and interest in the patent and patent application to the receiving party. The person to whom the rights are being assigned is called assignee and the owner of the patent who is assigning the rights is called assignor.

2. Patent licenses

The patentee or the patent owner through a license can permit others to use or exercise the invention which is otherwise not allowed by law. With the help of licensing the patent a bundle of rights is transferred for a limited period within a limited geographical area. 

The patent license is of two types:

a. Voluntary license:

As the name itself suggests, a voluntary license is obtained when the patentee wishes to transfer the patent rights with his own wish and empowers an another person to use or exercise the patented rights by way of a written legal agreement. In these cases, the Indian patent office and the central government do not assume any role.

b. Compulsory license u/s 84:

A compulsory license is granted by the Controller of the patents under some special circumstances. A compulsory license becomes an involuntary contract between the willing buyer and the unwilling seller enforced and imposed by the government. In the compulsory license, the government provides the right to use a patent to a person without the consent of the patent owner. Section 84 of the Indian Patent Act deals with providing the compulsory license of the patents and it is given under following grounds:

➦If the patented goods are not available to the public at affordable prices.
➦If, the requirements of the patent for the public is not being satisfied through the invention.
➦If, the patented invention is not devised in the Indian Territory.

c. Compulsory license for export of patented pharmaceutical products u/s 92A

Under the Section 92 of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, a compulsory patent can be issued to export or manufacture a pharmaceutical product to any country with no or little manufacturing capacity in the pharma sector to address the public safety issue. The only condition to this is that the country must provide a license or have allowed the import of patented pharma products from India. 

All of these provisions in the patent statutes are aimed to balance and maintain the interest and health of the public. Although the pharma companies invest a great deal of amount in the invention of medicines but ultimately, it is aimed at improving the health of the people. 

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