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Patents and compulsory licensing


Vikrant Rana

Patents in India are granted to encourage inventions and ensure their commercial exploitation. But compulsory licences could threaten the integrity of the system. Vikrant Rana takes a look.

The Patent Act provides compulsory licensing measures to ensure that the patents do not impede the protection of public health and nutrition, and that the patent rights are not abused by the patentee. The compulsory licence therefore serves to strike a balance between two disparate objectives—rewarding patentees for their invention and making patented products, particularly pharmaceutical products, available to large populations in developing and underdeveloped countries at a cheaper and aff ordable price.

Grant of compulsory licence under Section 84

Any interested person, under Section 84 of the Patent Act, may make an application for the grant of a compulsory licence three years aft er the date of grant of the patent on the grounds that:

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India, patent, pharmaceuticals, Indian Patent Act