US firm Kibow Biotech loses patent battle for kidney drug

Written by Sajan C Kumar | Chennai | Updated: Nov 24 2013, 00:05am hrs
US-based Kibow Biotech, which specialises in patented and proprietary probiotic dietary supplements for kidney and immune health, lost its Indian patent titled prebiotic and probiotic compositions and methods for use in gut-based therapies. This comes after a revocation petition filed by a domestic pharma company.

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), in its latest order, revoked the patent, which deals with a pharma composition and its method of use in the kidney patients registered by Kibow Biotech, citing lack of invention.

Kibow Biotech secured two US patents on the same as well as international patents under the Patent Cooperative Treaty (PCT) in India, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Japan and Korea. The Indian patent was granted in April 2007.

The order follows a patent battle between Kibow Biotech and Gujarat-based La Renon Healthcare. Kibow Biotech filed a civil suit before the Madras high court against La Renon Healthcare, alleging infringement of the impugned patent, while seeking a restraint order to curb the competition in the market from the latter, a major competitor.

Though the suit was dismissed by the court in 2011 due to non-maintainability under Section 599 of the Companies Act, the court, said the plaintiff was entitled to bring a fresh suit after curing the defects of the Act.

Following this, Le Renon filed the revocation plea before IPAB.

La Renon Healthcare has a product called Cudo with similar composition and had filed for patent registration, which is pending approval.

Incidentally, both the companies are fighting another patent battle at IPAB on yet another patent titled compositions for augmenting kidney function, granted to the US major.

S Usha, vice chairman, D P S Parmar, technical member (patents) observed that the pharmaceutical composition containing 5 integers was not a new product, nor the mixing of the products advance any technical effect over the existing prior art.

Thus, it makes the invention obvious to a person skilled in the art. "There is no invention as per the provisions of the Act. The description gives an account of kidney failure and talks of solute removal in the gut in nitro studies which does not describe the process of mixing the pharmaceutical composition as a whole.

There is nothing new or there is no technical advancement in the mixing of these integers and therefore, not an invention. With these above mentioned observations, we think the original revocation application deserves to be allowed and the patent granted be revoked," the IPAB bench said.