The Delhi High Court restrained Glenmark Pharmaceuticals from producing and marketing a generic version of Merck’s drug ‘Januvia’ used for treating diabetes.
Merck sued Glenmark for infringement of its Indian patent for ‘Januvia’ and ‘Janumet’. Glenmark was selling the generic version under its brand name ‘Zita’ and ‘Zitamet’.
The Court held that Merck has a prima facie case for the fact that Glenmark uses Sitagliptin free base as the active component in its chemical formulation, for which Merck has a patent in India.
The court rejected the argument of Glenmark that injunction should not be granted as the monetary compensation may be granted. “Prices may not recover after the patentee ultimately prevails, even if it is able to survive the financial setback (or “hit”) during the interim, which may take some time”, the Court reasoned.
The Court mentioned that balance of convenience is also in favor of Merck as the price difference between the commercial products sold by Glenmark and Merck is not so startling as to compel the court to infer that allowing Glenmark to sell the drug, at depressed prices would result in increased access. Permitting Glenmark to operate would not necessarily result in lowering of market prices.