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A Calibrated Approach: Pharmaceutical FDI and the Evolution of Indian Patent Law

Author(s)

Katherine Linton, Nicholas Corrado


Abstract

India has charted its own intellectual property (IP) path over the last 35 years, attempting to foster the growth of a domestic pharmaceutical industry and access to medicine while, more recently, also addressing the requirements of the international IP regime. Multinational companies (MNCs) have responded to India’s movement towards compliance with the WTO intellectual property agreement, TRIPS, by increasing the quantity and quality of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the areas of pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) and manufacturing. By contrast, MNCs have adopted a more cautious attitude toward the patenting and commercialization of new pharmaceutical products in India, waiting to see how Indian courts and patent offices interpret the new laws, and awaiting the enactment of long debated data protection legislation. The ultimate success of the Indian “calibrated approach” to fostering the domestic industry and access to medicine while also addressing international IP requirements remains to be seen.