The landmark decision by India's top IP body, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), to uphold Kibow Biotech's key product patent No: 224100 granted in the year 2009 by the government of India is a major victory for a small biotech company based in Pennsylvania.
This product patent entitled "Compositions for Augmenting Kidney Function" is a probiotic dietary supplement developed over a 10-year period with extensive R&D and clinical validation. The innovative product, which sells as Renadyl˙(previously sold as Kibow® Biotics in the U.S. and Canada only), received wide acclaim around the world including from top medical professionals, scientists and the company's distinguished Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) members (kibowbiotech.com)
The revocation petition against two of Kibow's patents was filed by LaRenon Health Care, an Indian pharmaceutical firm. Kibow had sued LaRenon for infringement before the Madras High Court, alleging infringement of its patents. While this suit was dismissed for procedural irregularities, La Renon filed revocations before the IPAB challenging both the product patent (Patent No: 224100) and the Process Patent (No.205478) covering a novel method of augmenting kidney function.
While the IPAB, via an order of the Vice Chairman Hon'ble S. Usha and Technical Member (Patents) Hon'ble D.P.S Parmar, invalidated the weaker process patent, it upheld the product patent. When compared to a process patent, a product patent is infinitely more valuable as it permits the patentee to prevent third parties such as LaRenon from making a copy of the product, irrespective of the process that they use to arrive at the product.
In particular, the judges agreed with the contention of Kibow that "the invention covers a new and inventive composition comprising at least one probiotics bacteria of a certain kind, in a certain composition and along with other additives (such as vitamins, etc.) that confer synergistic impact, enabling the augmentation of kidney function". The company's management and its research and development team are fully convinced and believe that "by no stretch of imagination can this unique composition be labeled as mere admixture."
Patents covering the product/process formulation on the probiotic dietary food supplement formulation have already been obtained in Australia, Canada, China, Japan, and Korea, and are pending in the European Union. Kibow Biotech is represented in India by a leading Delhi-based IP law firm, Obhan and Associates.