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 .

The patent in suit contains claims for the (+)enantiomer of citalopram and a method for its resolution from the racemate (the diol method). The Defendants appealed a decision of the Court of Appeal arguing that the patent was insufficient because it effectively claimed the (+)enantiomer made by any method whereas the specification only disclosed two…