Published: Wednesday 15 September 1999

The constitutional validity of the Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999, was recently challenged in the Supreme Court by a public interest petition. The petition alleged that the act was against public interest, public health and national interest. A bench, headed by Chief Justice A S Anand, referred the petition to the attorney general for comments. The plea has been filed by five organisations: the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, the Lok Shakti Abhiyan, the Bharatiya Kisan Union, the People's Union for Civil Liberties and the Azadi Bachao Andolan. These organisations have alleged that the Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999, has been enacted without availing exemptions under the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade and the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights.

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