After a 5 month long wait, the Patent Office at Chennai dispatched the information to an RTI application filed by me on November 01, 2011 asking for a photocopy of the entire case file of Novartis AG's patent application on the anti-cancer drug, Glivec. The docket runs over 2500 pages. The complete patent specification filed on July 17, 1998 can be accessed from here.
Other files include First Examiner’s comments on patent specification, documents relating to grant of Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMR), various forms and draft submissions before the Controller during the pre-grant stage. The Patent Office, however, has either carelessly omitted or has lost several other documents. There is no record of any objections filed by Cancer Patient Aid Association and Hetero Drugs (read ET report here). The documents provided merely records the fact of pre-grant opposition filed by M/s Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, M/s Cipla Ltd and M/s Natco Pharma Ltd. The decision of the Controller has not been provided also.
Before filing this RTI, I looked up the Patent Office's IPAIRSs system which enables online inspection of patent files. The links to the patent application weren't functional. Anyway, the CPIO replied back to me on November 17, 2011 directing me make a request for information under the pre-existing Patent Rules, 2003 instead of the RTI Act. The reply stated:
… it is hereby informed that specific requests shall be made under the following provisions of the Patent Act, 1970 that are readily available to the public:
Inspection of file u/r 74A of the Patent Rules, 1970
To obtain Certified Copy u/r 133 of the Patent Rules, 2003
To obtain photocopy u/r 74A of the Patent Rules, 2003
To obtain information relating to patent u/s 153 of the Patents Act, 1970.
Since the above provisions already exist under the Patent Act, you are requested to make corresponding request as prescribed by the Patent Act along with prescribed fee, so as to obtain the desired information and copies of documents instead of filing an application under the RTI Act.
Under the RTI Act, the 'notwithstanding' clause in Section 22 gives an overriding effect to provisions of the Act. In effect, the CPIO is bound to process requests under the RTI Act irrespective of any additional special rule (pre-existing or otherwise) under any other enactment. I had earlier blogged on the illegality of denying information on grounds of pre-exiting special rules here. In light of this, I filed an appeal before the First Appellate Authority and thankfully, the appeal was admitted without much delay and the CPIO was directed to provide the information requested.
The following documents are available for download:
Copy of the RTI application filed on November 01, 2011
Copy of the appeal filed before the First Appellate Authority dated December 02, 2011
Copy of the order of the First Appellate Authority dated January 03, 2012
Source:- Spicy Ip