In a setback to Indian pharma firm Cipla, the Delhi High Court on Friday held that its Erlocip, used for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, violated the patent rights of Swiss drug maker Hoffman la Roche, which had patented the basic medicinal compound and was marketing its own drug by the name of Tarceva.
The bench has, however, not issued any injunction against the continued manufacture of the drug by Cipla, after noting that Roche’s patent would expire in March 2016. Cipla has been directed to render accounts to Roche and make payment for the patent infringement.
The bench of justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Mukta Gupta in its judgment has held that the Cipla drug violated the Roche patent, but has at the same time refused to issue any injunction against Cipla restraining it from manufacturing the medicine, after observing that the life of the patent granted to Roche was ending in March 2016.
“…keeping in view the fact that the life of the patent in favour of Roche in India would expire in March, 2016 we do not grant the injunction as prayed for by Roche against Cipla (because as noted above there was no interim injunction in favour of Roche and due to said reason Cipla continued to manufacture and sell Erlocip),” held court. It has also imposed case costs of Rs 5 lakh on Cipla to be given to Roche.