India court rules for Cipla against Roche in patent case

MUMBAI, Sept 7 Fri Sep 7, 2012 11:16pm IST

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MUMBAI, Sept 7 (Reuters) - An Indian court has ruled in favour of local drugmaker Cipla in a patent infringement case filed by Switzerland's Roche Holding AG over Cipla's cancer drug Erlocip, a senior executive of the Indian company said.

The Delhi High Court made the ruling a week before India's Supreme Court is due to begin hearing a patent plea by another Swiss drugmaker, Novartis AG, over its cancer drug Glivec. That case is expected to set a precedent for the Indian drug market, where major western companies are fighting to protect their intellectual property.

"The court judgement says we have not infringed any patent," S. Radhakrishnan, a director on Cipla's board, told Reuters late on Friday after the Delhi High Court's ruling.

Roche accuses Cipla of infringing its patent on cancer drug Tarceva, which Cipla sells under the brand name Erlocip.

Roche could not immediately be reached for comment. The company has the option to challenge the judgement in India's Supreme Court.

The ruling comes nearly four years after the court rejected Roche's attempt to stop Cipla from selling Erlocip in India.

The court, however, said that Roche's patent over Tarceva is valid in India, media reports said. (Reporting by Kaustubh Kulkarni; Editing by Tony Munroe and Anthony Barker)

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