The Patent Office, coming under the Controller-General of Patents Designs and Trade Marks, has revoked a patent for an asthma drug held by U.S.-based Merck & Co following a challenge from domestic pharma firm Cipla. In an order, Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs T. V. Madhusudan revoked the patent on the ground that it lacked invention. “The sole process claim also in its entirety is not inventive as the said claim does not describe any inventive feature,” the order said.

“In view of the above conclusion, I hereby order that the patent bearing number 246328 is revoked,” Mr. Madhusudan said in his order.

Schering Corporation, which was later acquired by Merck & Co, had applied for patent of the asthma drug in February, 2004, and the Patent Office had granted the patent in March, 2011. Cipla had challenged the patent.

The development is the latest in a series of patent revocations by the Patent Office.

Last month, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board had turned down drug firm AstraZeneca’s plea for a patent on the lung cancer drug Gefitinib. Similarly, it had also revoked Pfizer’s patent on cancer drug ‘Sutent’.

Earlier during the year, the Patent Office had invoked compulsory licensing permitting Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell cancer-treatment drug Nexavar at a price over 30 times lower than charged by its patent-holder Bayer Corporation.

Keywords: Patentasthma drugCipla

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