India's Supreme Court, in a landmark decision on April 1, refused an appeal from Novartis of Basel to extend patent protection for its leukemia drug Gleevec or Glivec (imatinib). The court denied Novartis a patent on the grounds that it did not show that the beta crystalline form of imatinib mesylate has “enhanced efficacy” over the known substrate, which is the noncrystalline form of the drug. Under the amended Indian Patent Act, small tweaks to existing drugs are not patentable “unless they differ significantly with regard to efficacy.” (Nat. Biotechnol. 26, 362, 2008). The decision is seen as a decisive victory for domestic generics makers. Indian drug companies can now market generic versions of Gleevec at a fraction of the price set by Novartis in India, says Dilip Shah, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance Mumbai. The ruling may also influence several pending patent disputes in favor of local firms. “This will pave [the] way for affordable medicines to patients not just in India but around the world,” says Yusuf Hamied, chairman of Cipla, who introduced cheap AIDS drugs in Africa. The pharma industry outside of India greeted the decision with dismay. “This marks yet another example of the deteriorating innovation environment in India,” said John Castellani, chief executive of the Washington, DC–based trade organization PhRMA in a press statement. But Indian industry leaders deny charges that the innovation environment will suffer. “There is sufficient protection in India and new drugs can still be patented,” says Panchapagesa Murali, president of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises that represents Indian biotechs. But Murali notes that the “Glivec case is not about intellectual property but is about 'ever greening' (of patents).” India is the only country so far that has not granted a patent for this incremental innovation. Last year, local generics firms gained another victory when given the right to make cheaper versions of Bayer's cancer drug Nexavar (sorafenib) (Nat. Biotechnol. 31, 9, 2013). Suggestions that these rulings will discourage big pharma from investing in India were dismissed. “India is too large a market to be ignored,” Ramesh Swaminathan, president for planning of Mumbai-based generics maker Lupin, said on television.