NEW DELHI (AFP) - India’s Supreme Court rejected Monday a patent bid by Swiss drug giant Novartis in a landmark ruling that activists say will protect cheap generic drugs and save lives in developing nations. Novartis fought a seven-year legal battle to gain patent protection for an updated version of its blockbuster leukaemia drug Glivec, arguing the compound was a significant improvement because it is more easily absorbed by the body. But in a ruling that went to the heart of patent law in a country known as the “pharmacy to the world”, the top court said the compound “did not satisfy the test of novelty or inventiveness” required by Indian legislation.