Rebecca Abraham asks in-house counsel at DuPont and JCB how they stay ahead of India’s intellectual property violators

India’s intellectual property (IP) protection credentials have taken a beating in recent months. In March, Roy Waldron, the chief IP counsel at Pfizer, gave a statement to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Trade saying that a “growing trend of anti-IP developments in India” is in effect “leading to a worldwide deteriorating trend on intellectual property”.

A few weeks later there was more debate when India’s Supreme Court put an end to an eight-year-long campaign by Novartis for a patent in India for its anti-cancer drug Glivec. The dismay among IP owners – especially those contending with competition from the generic drugs industry – was compounded by reports that more compulsory licences for anti-cancer drugs were on their way. In March 2012, the patent office had issued India’s first compulsory licence for an anti-cancer drug patented in India by Bayer.

Despite these problems, India remains an immensely attractive market for many global IP owners.

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