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The Patent Office has refused to proceed with a divisional patent application of Wyeth, now part of Pfizer, for an invention as the claims are within the claims of parent application. This comes at a time when some patient groups and others has been alleging that the divisional patent provisions are used by the patent owners to extend the patent life.
The order comes in a patent application filed by Wyeth for an invention related to methods of removing high molecular weight aggregates from an antibody preparation using hydroxyapatite chromatography.
The agent representing the company responded to various objections raised by the Patent Office and said that the revised claims could be considered for patent.
The Assistant Controller of Patents & Designs, Kolkata refused to allow the divisional status of the application and considering various arguments and documents, refused to proceed with the application for grant of patent.
It may be noted that the divisional applications filed by the originator companies has been a bone of contention in various legal forums. Earlier a patient group has approached the Delhi High court seeking direction to the Patent Authorities to look into various divisional patent applications so that it should not be used for evergreening of patent. Besides, an order from the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) related to the divisional applications, which according to reports, was challenged in the High Court of Calcutta.
According to Section 16(1) of the Patents Act, 1970, a patent applicant can file a further application (for divisional patent), before the time of grant of patent, if he/she so desires or to address the objection of the Controller of Patent that the claim in the first patent application relate to more than one invention. In such instance, the patent applicant can file a further application, but has to ensure that the main application and the divisional applications may be amended to ensure that neither of the complete specifications include a claim for any matter claimed in the other.