Monday, 25 October 2010

Brazilian pipeline system - again

October 21, the Third Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) in Brazil, has denied unanimously extending for almost a year the patent of a drug called Gleevec (in the United States) or Glivec (Europe and Latin America). The drug, first approved in May 2001 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is used for the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and patients with metastatic malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

This case follows the same rulings dictated by the STJ in Viagra (reported here) and Lipitor (here). The case in question refers to a mechanism created by the Brazilian legislation - the pipeline. “The current Industrial Property Law, published in 1996, included the pipeline to protect inventions of pharmaceutical and chemical patents that could not be patented before”. This considers the possibility of protecting under the patent system chemical substances, compositions and products, in particular chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry that were already known. Through this mechanism, the INPI argues that the protection in Brazil should be counted from the ‘first filing’ abroad.

Laboratory Novartis, the owner of the patent, argued that the drug should be valid until March 2013. However, the Supreme Court confirmed the findings of the INPI, which refers to April 2012 as the expiration date.

The case is not reported as yet in the STJ webpage, however you can find more information at INPI's web page.

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