ANDREY TSYGANOV: FAS SEES PERFECTLY THE WATERSHED BETWEEN PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND GOODS TURNOVER AND USE
Wrong interpretation of these norms infringes the interests of citizens. It concerns the pharmaceutical industry most of all.
Speaking on 20 April 2018 as the co-chair of the 12th session of the International Working Group for Research of Competition Issues on Pharmaceutical Market, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov discussed legislative novelties regulating the pharmaceutical and other industries, where mechanisms of protecting the intellectual property rights, as well as the practice of antimonopoly enforcement in this sector of the economy.
The Working Group had its session at the VI Eastern Europe and Central Asia HIV/ AIDS International Conference.
First Deputy Chairman of the Education & Science Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Gennady Onischenko, co-chaired the event. Speakers included Alexei Ivanov, Director of the Institute of Law and Development, High School of Economics – Skolkovo; Esteban Burrone, Head of Policy, Medicines Patent Pool, Switzerland; Kajal Bhardvaj, a senior counsel on medicine access research, India; Guilherme Cintra, Senior Manager for Innovations, Intellectual Property and Trade, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), Switzerland; and Michele Pacillo, an advisor to Head of Italy Competition Authority on International Affairs.
Andrey Tsyganov said that a federal law is already drafted on amendments to the Civil Code. The draft law also assigns the right to the Government to permit use of inventions, utility models, industrial prototypes without consent from the right-holder with subsequent adequate competition in order to protect life and health of the population.
He also reminded about FAS plans to abolish the so-called antimonopoly immunities. In his opinion, thanks to these immunities the antimonopoly standards did not apply to exercising the exclusive rights for the results of intellectual property and agreements on granting or alienating the right for use of for the results of intellectual property.
“We understand perfectly where is the watershed between protecting intellectual rights and customary turnover of the goods that contain the results of intellectual property”, emphasized Deputy Head of FAS. “Wrong, too broad interpretation of these norms generates serious problems when we cannot always protect the interests of Russian citizens efficiently. A considerable share of such wrong interpretations falls on the pharmaceutical industry”.
In his conclusive remarks, Andrey Tsyganov pointed out that during the session participants had expressed different, sometimes polar opposite opinions regarding the balance of fair competition and intellectual property rights.
“It is characteristic that some speakers (Alexei Ivanov, Kajal Bhardvaj) focused on refuting and debunking of a number of traditional “myths” that overemphasize the rights of pharmaceutical companies for safeguarding and protecting the results of intellectual property and their impact in social progress. The report of our colleague Michele Pacillo clearly demonstrated typical examples of anticompetitive actions of the participants of the pharmaceutical market and efficient responses by competition authorities”, said Andrey Tsyganov.
He stressed that FAS is using increasingly more actively technology transfer mechanisms in its orders issued upon considering economic concentration transactions and antimonopoly cases for the purposes of maintaining market competition.
“Technological transfer tools can and must be used not only in the agro-industrial sector (the “Bayer-Monsanto” merger) but also in the pharmaceutical industry and other hi-tech segments of the economy”, pointed out the speaker.
Head of FAS Department for Control over Social Sphere and Trade, Timofey Nizhegorodtsev was a co-moderator of the final session –“Achieving the balance between the interests of public health care and intellectual property protection: experience and prospects” - at the VI Eastern Europe and Central Asia HIV/ AIDS International Conference.
Experts discussed different strategies for extending access to antiretroviral therapy, the experience of Kirgizstan on market entry of socially important good without registration, and the need to modernize the intellectual law in the filed of health care, particularly, in the pharmaceutical sector.