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Compulsory Licensing – Polity

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Compulsory Licensing

  • This concept of compulsory licensing has been given in the chapter XVI of the Indian Patents Act, 1970.
  • This concept is recognised at both national as well as international levels, with express mention in both (Indian) Patent Act, 1970 and TRIPS Agreement
  • As per Section 84 (IP Act 1970), any person, regardless of whether he is the holder of the license of that Patent, can make a request to the Controller for grant of compulsory license on expiry of three years, when any of the following conditions is fulfilled –
    • The reasonable requirements of the public with respect to the patented invention have not been satisfied
    • The patented invention is not available to the public at a reasonably affordable price
    • The patented invention is not worked in the territory of India.
  • Further, compulsory licenses can also be issued suo motu by the Controller under section 92, pursuant to a notification issued by the Central Government if there is either a “national emergency” or “extreme urgency” or in cases of “public non-commercial use”.
  • Even after a compulsory license is granted to a third party, the patent owner still has rights over the patent, including a right to be paid for copies of the products made under the compulsory license

Termination of Compulsory License

  • The compulsory license granted under section 84 may be revoked by the controller by an application filed by the patentee or by the beneficiary of the patent rights, along with evidence proof that the circumstance during which the compulsory license was granted have ceased to exist.
  • For example The license was granted to Natco Pharma Ltd. for the drug Nexavar, patented by M/S Bayer Corporation 



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