DELHI HIGH COURT REJECTS GERMAN MEDICAL DEVICE COMPANY B BRAUN’S PLEA

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THE Delhi High Court (HC) has dismissed an appeal by German medical device company B Braun to stop Delhi-based Polymed from making or selling safety intra venous (IV) cannula products. The product is a widely used medical device to prevent multiple needle pricks, injuries and infections.

B Braun had appealed against an order in June by the same court which had refused to restrict the Indian company from making the device. The court said there was no reason to pass any interim order during the pendency of the earlier appeal. The original case under which B Braun claimed that Polymed infringes on its patent for the medical device, is still pending in the Delhi HC. The German company was granted patent for manufacturing and marketing safety IV cannula in India in September 2007. Indian patent laws allow patent holders to have exclusive marketing rights for 20 years. Polymed, a public listed company, has challenged B Braun’s patent for the product in India and is fighting to revoke the same.

The court in its June order had asked Polymed to maintain a separate sales account of its safety IV cannula products because if the final judgement goes in favour of B Braun, then it may have to pay damages to the German firm. But, if B Braun’s patent claim is revoked, Polymed and other Indian companies can make and sell the device in India and other countries where the German firm does not hold patent. The two companies also entered into a contract manufacturing deal in 2005 under which Polymed used to make the products for the German company. The arrangement was terminated in 2008. B Braun also claims that Polymed uses its technology to make the product, which is patented. Polymed counters the claim and says it has been making the product since 1997.

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