Delhi HC restrains firm from infringing Merck diabetes drug Sitagliptin
"It appears that if Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp are not protected, their interest would get jeopardized. Furthermore, it would also affect the interest of the public at large, since, the plaintiffs are dealing in drugs, which are commonly used by the patients suffering from diabetes," the court added.
New Delhi: In a major relief to Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, the Delhi High Court has restrained Angels Pharma India Private limited from infringing Merck's patent right of popular diabetes drug Sitagliptin, its intermediates or any product.
The order was pronounced by Justice Rajiv Shakdher on June 9, 2020.
In its submission, Merck averred that Angel Pharma is attempting to manufacture the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient(API) SITAGLIPTIN, and, thus, infringing the rights, which inhere in Merck No.1's patent i.e. IP No.209816.
The Counsel for Merck, in order to establish that Angel Pharma is embarking on the said course, drew court's attention to the transcripts which relate to the conversations held between the investigator appointed by the plaintiffs and the representative of the defendant. The transcripts, which are available on record, pertain to conversations held on 26.04.2020, 27.04.2020, and 28.4.2020.
Furthermore, the counsel for the plaintiffs has also referred the court to the Angel Pharma's website, which is indicative of the fact that the company is representing to the world at large that it is in a position to supply and manufacture, amongst other APIs, the API in issue i.e. API SITAGLIPTIN.
"Even though the defendant was served via email on 08.06.2020, the defendant has not joined the proceedings," the counsel apprised the court.
After hearing the facts of the case, the court was of the view that, at least at this stage, the plaintiffs have been able to establish a prima facie case in their favour.
The court noted;
"Since it is averred that the defendant has not commenced commercial production of the subject API i.e. API SITAGLIPTIN, the balance of convenience is also in favour of the plaintiffs."
"It appears that if the plaintiffs are not protected, their interest would get jeopardized. Furthermore, it would also affect the interest of the public at large, since, the plaintiffs are dealing in drugs, which are commonly used by the patients suffering from diabetes," the court added.
Subsequently, the court pronounced its order as quoted;
"Accordingly, the defendant, its directors, employees, officers, agents and all others acting for and on its behalf are restrained from manufacturing, using, selling, distributing, advertising, exporting, offering for sale, and in any other manner, directly or indirectly, dealing in either the subject API i.e. API SITAGLIPTINor its intermediates or any product, which infringes plaintiff No.1's patent i.e. Indian Patent No.209816."
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