THAILAND CASE: REVOKING AN INVALID PATENT:
THE CASE OF DDI IN THAILAND
In May 2002, a lawsuit was filed by a Thai AIDS Foundation and two people living with HIV/AIDS against Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). The court summoned the Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) as co-defendant.
The plaintiffs alleged that BMS and DIP had "conspired to intentionally delete" the dosage restriction to the patent on ddI, an antiretroviral drug. BMS' original patent application in July 1992 specified a dosage range "from about 5 to 100 mg per dose", but BMS filed an amendment to remove this restriction 5 years later.
In the final verdict delivered on 1 October 2002, the court found in favour of the plaintiffs. The court noted that the Doha Declaration "insisted that TRIPS be interpreted and implemented so as to promote the rights of member states to protect countries' public health" and that "those in need of medicines are interested parties to the granting of a patent".
In principle, this means that the more convenient ddI dosage can now be made by other producers who will likely sell it at much lower prices. However, the case is currently under appeal.