There have not been many decisions in 2010 from the English Patents Court that are likely to be regarded in future decades as seminal judgments. However, in the author’s view, the judgment of the Court of Appeal of 28 July 2010 in Schlumberger Holdings Limited v Electromagnetic Geoservices AS is likely to be cited frequently…

The torrent of UK cases concerning applications for supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) shows no sign of abating. Following the reference from the Court of Appeal in June to the CJEU in Medeva’s SPC Applications regarding the scope of the SPC Regulation (see previous post), the issue of SPCs for combination products has arisen again in…

Council Regulation 469/2009 (the “SPC Regulation”) governs the grant of supplementary protection certificates in the EU. Core to its interpretation are Articles 1, 3, 4 and 5. Most pertinently, Article 3 provides that an SPC shall be granted if, among other things and in the relevant member state, (a) the product is protected by a…

On 22 June 2010, the English Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in yet another case involving stents in Occlutech v. AGA Medical. The appeal was dismissed with the result that AGA’s patent was held not infringed by Occlutech. The decision itself is interesting for three reasons: First, and most importantly, the decision contains…

Schütz owned two patents relating to the field of intermediate bulk containers or ‘IBCs’, which are large plastic bottles contained in cages and used to transport hazardous liquids. Schütz objected to Werit’s sales of bottles to a company called Delta since Delta incorporated Werit’s bottles into Schütz’s second hand cages. The key question in the…

The grant of supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) has been the subject of numerous recent cases in Europe. In the UK, the latest development in Neurim Pharmaceuticals (1991) Limited v. Comptroller-General of Patents [2010] EWHC 976 (Pat) concerned the issue of whether a previously authorised product can be the subject of an SPC for a different…

The English Court of Appeal dismissed Novartis’ appeal against the finding of the Patents Court that Novartis’ patent for a sustained release formulation of fluvastatin was invalid for obviousness. The case was unusual because, at first instance, Warren J. had held the patent to be inventive on a conventional analysis but then went on to find it obvious using an acontextual approach. The Court of Appeal discussed the correct approach to the question of obviousness in English law, by reference to both the problem and solution approach developed by the European Patent Office and the established four-step approach developed by the English Courts in Windsurfing v Tabur Marine and Pozzoli v BDMO .