Access to Medicines in the Developing World: No to Evergreening in Novartis Case and No to Patent Linkage in Patricia Asero Case

As part of the World IP Day 2013 activities in Kenya, CIPIT will host a special intellectual property (IP) debate organised by the Aids Law Project (ALP) between students drawn from the local universities. The topic of this debate is: how the Novartis and Patricia Asero court decisions affect public health in developing countries. Although this blogger will not be able to attend the debate in person, what follows are a few ruminations on this debate topic.

The Supreme Court of India judgment in the Novartis case and the High Court of Kenya judgment in the Patricia Asero case seem to have one common consequence: making pharmaceutical companies very unhappy. Both these cases have placed the spotlight on the generic drugs industry. In the developing world, where few people can afford original patented medicines, many opt for generic versions of the same drugs that are sold for as little as 1/10th of the price of the original product. Therefore, what generics companies do essentially is to replicate drugs that are no longer protected by patents. This leaves the pharmaceutical companies with two main issues to deal with: Firstly how do they “extend” patent protection for their well-known drugs? Secondly how do they ensure strict IP enforcement in respect to their patented drugs? The first issue is illustrated in the Novartis case and the second issue appears in the Patricia Asero case.

Read the rest of this article over at the CIPIT Law Blog here.

World Intellectual Property Day – April 26 2013: Some Planned Activities in Kenya


Twelve years ago, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) created the “World Intellectual Property (IP) Day” as an event intended to “raise awareness of the role of intellectual property in our daily lives, and to celebrate the contribution made by innovators and creators to the development of societies across the globe”.

Last year, this blog covered the World IP Day events in Kenya and highlighted some of the key IP developments at the time. (See here)

This year, the theme for World IP Day is “Creativity: The Next Generation. How do you see the future? Who will be the next game-changers?”

The Aids Law Project (ALP) have lined up a number of interesting events to mark World IP Day 2013:

On Thursday 25th April 2013, you are invited to Strathmore University (Room 7 -MSB Building, 2nd Floor):

Welcome Address by Jacinta Nyachae of Aids Law Project (ALP) & Isaac Rutenberg of Strathmore Law School Centre for IP and Information Technology Law (CIPIT)
Key Note Address by. Mr. David Njuguna, Chief Patent Examiner at Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI).
Inter-university IP Debate
Debate Topic: “How do the Novartis and Patricia Asero court decisions affect public health in developing countries?”
Moderators: Paul Ogendi, Sarah Ochwada
Closing Remarks – Anne Gathumbi

On Friday 26th April 2013, you are all invited to Railways Club for a World IP Day Picnic organised by ALP:

Arrival and Registration
Welcome Address by Jacinta Nyachae of Aids Law Project (ALP)
Brief of the activities of the day by Kate Kiama (ALP)
Games and Activities
Snacks and Q & A
Closing Remarks and Award Ceremony

IPKenya is also aware that the State Agencies in charge of IP have organised some events for World IP Day. The Kenya Patents and Trademarks office (KIPI), the Kenya Copyright Office (KECOBO), the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) with the support of the World IP Organization (WIPO) have organised a public event at the Mount Kenya University Towers in Nairobi Kenya from 09h00 to 12h30. The full details are available below:
World IP Day 2013 Kenya KECOBO ACA KIPI WIPO

All are invited. Please spread the word! IPKenya will update everyone on any other World IP Day activities/events taking place in Kenya.