India under section 84 of Patents Act 1980 granted compulsory license to NATCO for production the anti-cancer drug Nexavar against Bayer which was holding patent for Nexavar.
The IPR is often seen overriding the Competition law brewing a fresh debate each time whether the two are good enough for the producers and consumers alike.
What is IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) ?
Intellectual Property Rights are the rights given to a creator over the use of his creations. It is aimed at incentivizing creativity and innovation. It can include creations such a new drug composition, business module, product, software and so on. Some of the aspects of intellectual property include patents, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications and industrial designs.
What is Competition Law ?
Competition law seeks to avoid market barriers and benefit consumers by encouraging competition among a multiplicity of suppliers of goods, services and technologies. The Competition Law has been put in place in order to ensure competitive environment among the firms. India’s Competition Law was formulated as Competition Act 2002 which was later amended in 2007. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) under the ambit of Competition Act prevents practices having adverse effect on competition, promotes and sustains competition in markets, protects the interests of consumers and ensures freedom of trade carried on by the participants.
Why it is in News ?
In developing countries, strengthening of IP law has taken place without commensurate levels of anticompetitive practices. It poses challenges to policymakers to sort out the negative fallouts of excessive monopoly power because of rights of IP owner. In dealing with this, patent offices are not competent enough for determining “excessive” or “unaffordable” pricing for issuing compulsory licenses to third party under TRIPS. Competition Commission of India also does not have required competence to deal with this trade off that exists between IP law and Competition law.