Supreme Court rejects plea by US pharma firms

The Supreme Court on Friday turned down a request by US pharmaceutical firms Sugen and Pharmacia & Upjohn Company for transfer of its case (revocation of a patent for anti-cancer drug Sunitinib) to another patent officer.

Noting that there did not appear to be sufficient grounds for entertaining such a plea when no instance or allegations of bias against the concerned patent officer was on record, a Bench led by Justice KS Radhakrishnan said that it will not be fair to transfer the matter to another Controller of Patents and Designs.

Earlier, senior counsel TR Andhyarujina had contended before the Bench that the dispute should now be heard by a different patent officer since the officer in question has already heard it before.

He said that there was a possibility that the officer would be influenced by her previous order when she had revoked the patent.

The senior counsel added that principles of natural justice also demanded an approval of their request.

The Bench, however, observed that a mere apprehension of this nature was not adequate when there was nothing else on record to substantiate this averment.

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