Mashelkar has resigned a while back (and, Abi feels that his parting comments do not do justice to his critics). In any case, following the resignation, the committee is in limbo, since I have not seen any official word as to what happens to the committee.
Probably it is a good time to put an end to this entire committee business? Especially, as this piece (via Abi again) points out, the formation of the committee itself does not make much sense in the first place:
One wonders how many countries patent regimes would have a 100% chance of surviving any WTO challenge. Surprisingly few I suspect. So why is India doing this to itself? I can’t imagine the United States government commissioning any purportedly independent group of people to examine its local working requirements concerning patent rights in inventions made with federal assistance, and report back publicly. That’s for other WTO members to take up with them (as Brazil of course did to apparently good political effect a few years back). One could examine many countries’ patent laws and find questionable provisions. For example, the UK patent law’s crown use section contains public interest provisions that may well be TRIPS incompatible. I might add that despite this, no company to my knowledge has taken on the British government about it in the way Novartis is doing towards India (Developing countries are of course usually much softer targets anyway especially when they supply companies suing them with such ammunition). Neither has the Wall Street Journal seen fit to cast the UK as part of some axis of IP Evil in those rather bitter editorials usually targeted at countries like Thailand and Brazil, who seem to be the current whipping boys in Washington these days. But this is domestic politics and I don’t know very much about India. Certainly, from the view of an outsider it’s most peculiar if not perverse.
Before I end this post, here is a listing of all the posts on the Mashelkar committee in this blog:
- On the current patenting regime
- Patents, plagiarism, political clarity and public interest
- On Mashelkar committee recommendations
- A controversy that wouldn’t go away
- On Mashelkar committee (and plagiarism)
- To patent…Supplement to Edition 2
- To patent or not to patent: Edition 2
- To patent or not to patent