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Hospira clears the way for generic Herceptin

The development of Herceptin (trastuzumab) in the late 1980s and 1990s is one of the most remarkable advances in the treatment of breast cancer. The story of the drug and its pioneer, the “velvet jackhammer”, Dennis Slamon, is neatly summarised in Siddhartha Mukherjee’s award winning novel: “The Emperor of All Maladies – a Biography of Cancer” – a fascinating if not necessarily uplifting read.

In short, unlike traditional chemotherapy, trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody which specifically targets a receptor known as HER-2 which is involved in the development of breast cancer. No-one disputes that the development of Herceptin was a landmark advance in the field of oncology [...]

Simplicity is no Objection – The illuminating saga of Collingwood Lighting Limited v Aurora Limited (10 February 2014)

by Katie Hutchinson & Brian Cordery

A recent judgment from Mr Justice Roth in the UK Patents Court found a patent for a fire resistant LED downlight valid and infringed. The gist of the invention was said to be a simple change from the state of the art but it was held that just because it was a simple change that did not preclude it from being inventive. On novelty, the one cited piece of prior art was held not to describe something which if performed would “necessarily lead to the making of the subject-matter of the patent” and thus not an anticipation according to the law as most recent stated by the House of Lords in the Synthon case back in 2005. Further, the prior art documents c [...]

English Court underlines importance of Mindset and the Common General Knowledge

Eugen Seitz AG v KHS Corpoplast GmbH and Norgren AG [2014] EWHC 14 (Ch) is an interesting case relating to the valves in stretch blow moulding machines used to make plastic bottles. The patent was alleged to be invalid for both lack of novelty and obviousness, although the Defendants denied that the relevant prior art had actually been made available to the public. In the alternative, the claimants sought a declaration of non-infringement in relation to certain claims of the patent. The trial judge was Roth J, who does not hear many patent cases but is gaining experience all the time.

The sole novelty citation was a fax sent around nine years before the priority date from the head of d [...]

Staying UK Proceedings Pending EPO Oppositions – Commercial Common Sense Prevails

In IPCom GmbH & Co KG v HTC Europe Co Limited and others [2013] EWCA Civ 1496, the English Court of Appeal has very recently given guidance concerning the circumstances in which it is appropriate for an English court considering combined patent infringement and revocation proceedings to stay those proceedings pending the outcome of co-pending opposition proceedings at the EPO. There has long been a question mark as to whether national courts should proceed with a patent dispute in such cases. If a national court does proceed then this brings the risk of inconsistent decisions. As the EPO ultimately trumps national courts on questions of validity, speedier national proceedings can be underm [...]

Resolution Chemicals v Lundbeck – it’s a small world!

In my August post reported here, I mentioned that the skirmish between Resolution and Lundbeck regarding the validity of Lundbeck’s SPC for escitalopram is scheduled to be heard in the English Patents Court next month. Readers may recall that Arnold J dismissed Lundbeck’s application for summary judgment and that the Court of Appeal upheld his decision that previous challenges to the patent did not preclude Resolution from bringing the action. However, on 15 October 2013, Arnold J had to hear some further submissions from the parties – this time a somewhat unusual application by Lundbeck that Arnold J should “recuse” himself from hearing the trial in this action. Here’s the story [...]

To stay or not to stay – English court of Appeal to review guidelines

In 2008, the English Court of Appeal in Glaxo Group v Genentech ([2008] EWCA Civ 23) gave general guidance on the Patent’s Court discretion to stay legal proceedings on the ground that there are parallel proceedings pending at the European Patent Office concerning the validity of a patent. The “nine step” guidance given by Lord Justice Mummery in that case has been followed in various cases and most recently it was applied by Mr Justice Roth in IPCom v HTC Europe and others ([2013] EWHC 2880), the latest battle in protracted litigation concerning a patent used in mobile phones. In applying the Glaxo v Genentech guidance, Mr Justice Roth refused to stay the technical issues of invalid [...]

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