In a reprieve to US-based oral drug delivery company, Cima Labs, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has set aside an order that rejected the firm’s patent application. The patent was for an invention of an oral Fentanyl pharmaceutical combination for its cancer painkiller Fentora in India.
The IPAB has also asked the assistant controller of patents & designs, Kolkata, to hear the matter afresh affording a reasonable opportunity to the drug company to put forward their response against the objections raised by the patent office with regard to a patent for Fentora.
The assistant controller had rejected the application, citing lack of novelty and inventive step against which the company preferred an appeal before the tribunal. The controller found that the composition of Fentanyl and the method of preparing were not novel. He further concluded that an almost similar type of invention in a parallel invention application filed by the same company has been refused by the Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs, Kolkata, under concurrent jurisdiction.
After hearing the appeal by Cima Labs against the order of assistant controller, the IPAB bench said: “… the information furnished before us makes it crystal clear the impugned order was in flagrant violation of natural justice. We are constraint to set aside the order and the controller shall consider the entire matter afresh by furnishing the objections on the date of hearing itself thereby enabling the company to give explanations for those objections.”