News: Parties ask govt. to invoke compulsory licensing to expand vaccine production
About Compulsory Licensing:
Compulsory licensing is when a government allows someone else to produce a patented product or process without the consent of the patent owner or plans to use the patent-protected invention itself. It is one of the flexibilities in the field of patent protection included in the WTO’s agreement on intellectual property — the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement.
For compulsory licensing, it’s when the generic copy is produced mainly for the domestic market, not for export.
The patent owner still has rights over the patent, including a right to be paid compensation for copies of the products made under the compulsory license.
The TRIPS Agreement does not specifically list the reasons that might be used to justify compulsory licensing. However, the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health confirms that countries are free to determine the grounds for granting compulsory licenses, and to determine what constitutes a national emergency.
About Compulsory Licensing in Indian Patent Act:
The Indian Patent Act provides for compulsory licences at the expiration of three years from the date of a patent grant, on any of the following grounds: reasonable requirements of the public with respect to the patented invention have not been satisfied; or patented invention is not available to the public at a reasonably affordable price; or patented invention is not worked in the territory of India.
The Act also provides Compulsory license for export of patented pharmaceutical products in certain exceptional circumstances.
Compulsory license shall be available for manufacture and export of patented pharmaceutical products to any country having insufficient or no manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical sector for the concerned product to address public health problems, provided compulsory license has been granted by such country or such country has, by notification or otherwise, allowed importation of the patented pharmaceutical products from India.
About the Patent Laws in India:
The history of Patent law in India starts from 1911 when the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911 was enacted. The present Patents Act, 1970 came into force in the year 1972.
The Patents Act, 1970 was amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005, wherein product patent was extended to all fields of technology including food, drugs, chemicals and micro-organisms.
After the amendment, the provisions relating to Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs) have been repealed, and a provision for enabling grant of compulsory license has been introduced.
The provisions relating to pre-grant and post-grant opposition have been also introduced.
An invention relating to a product or a process that is new, involving inventive step and capable of industrial application can be patented in India.
The term of every patent in India is 20 years from the date of filing the patent application, irrespective of whether it is filed with provisional or complete specification. However, in case of applications filed under the Patent Cooperative Treaty (PCT), the term of 20 years begins from the international filing date.
One of the most important aspects of Indian Patents Act, 1970, is compulsory licensing of the patent subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions. At any time after the expiration of three years from the date of the sealing of a patent, any person interested may make an application to the Controller of Patents for grant of compulsory license of the patent, subject to the fulfillment of following conditions, ie,
the reasonable requirements of the public with respect to the patented invention have not been satisfied;
that the patented invention is not available to the public at a reasonable price; or
that the patented invention is not worked in the territory of India.
2. ISRAEL – PALESTINE
News: Relentless rocket fire and rioting in mixed Jewish-Arab towns fuelled growing fears on Wednesday that deadly violence between Israel and Palestinians could spiral into a “full-scale war”.
About Two State Solution:
The two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict envisions an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River.
The boundary between the two states is still subject to dispute and negotiation, with Palestinian and Arab leadership insisting on the “1967 borders”, which is not accepted by Israel.
The territory of the former Mandate Palestine (including Jerusalem) which did not form part of the Palestinian State would continue to be part of Israel.
3. STEEL MAKING AND IRON ORE
News: The country’s largest iron ore miner NMDC on Wednesday announced a hike in the prices of lump ore by ₹700 per tonne and fines by ₹1,500 per tonne with immediate effect.
How is Steel made?
Steelmaking is the process of producing steel from iron ore and/or scrap.
In steelmaking, impurities such as nitrogen, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur and excess carbon (the most important impurity) are removed from the sourced iron, and alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium, carbon and vanadium are added to produce different grades of steel.
Limiting dissolved gases such as nitrogen and oxygen and entrained impurities (termed “inclusions”) in the steel is also important to ensure the quality of the products cast from the liquid steel.
The process starts in the center of the wheel with the three main ingredients of iron in the form of iron ore, coke and lime, which are fed into a blast furnace to produce molten iron.
About Iron Ore in India:
India has large iron ore reserves. It occurs in various geological formations but major economic deposits are found in volcano-sedimentary Banded Iron Formation (BIF) from the Precambrian age.
The prominent ores of iron found in India are Hematite and Magnetite. Hematite is a better quality and lumpy in nature and is used by steel and sponge iron manufacturing industries of India.
Magnetite is valuable as the content of iron is as high as 70 percent.
In India iron ore is found in four regions. The highest producer is the Odisha Jharkhand belt, followed by Durg Bastar Chandrapur belt.
The third belt is Bellary- Chitradurga-Chikmagalur-Tumkur belt followed by Maharashtra Goa belt.