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Madras HC dismisses Roche case against Intas

P.T. Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 12, 2011

Roche

Single sale of cancer drug by a retailer not authorised by Intas





The patent-infringement suit filed by Swiss drugmaker Hoffman La Roche against local drug company Intas, regarding the former's lung-cancer drug erlotinib, has been dismissed by the Madras High Court.

The suit filed by Roche has been dismissed by the Madras HC due to the lack of jurisdiction, Mr A. Mohan, advocate at the Madras HC, confirmed to Business Line. Mr Mohan, from intellectual property firm Mohan Associates, handled the case for Intas.

Roche had filed a case against Intas to stop the sale of erlotinib, on the basis of a single sale from a retail chemist in Chennai, he said. Intas' application said that the Court should not have granted permission for Roche's case to be registered in the first place, he explained.

Erlotinib is the generic version of Roche's Tarceva, but Roche officials were not reachable for comment on the development.

The Madras HC allowed Intas' application, and dismissed the case on the lack of jurisdiction, he said.

The single sale was from a retailer not authorised by Intas, the company said, and did not tantamount to a commercial sale.

Further, Intas said in a separate suit that Roche was already fighting a patent-infringement suit against another local drug maker Natco, on the same drug, at the Delhi High Court. As a result, Intas cannot be sued for marketing the same drug, he added. With the main case at Madras HC being dismissed on lack of jurisdiction, the other applications were seen as being fructuous, he said.

Erlotinib has been at the heart of other high-profile patent-infringement litigation that Roche had filed against local drugmakers in the past, including Cipla. Though they are patent-related cases, price has also added a dimension, as locally made erlotinib costs a fraction of Tarceva, sold at about Rs 1 lakh a month.

>jyothi@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 12, 2011
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