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Pfizer found guilty in the final round of the latanoprost saga

In the last instance, the Consiglio di Stato (the Italian supreme administrative court) established that Pfizer did commit abuse of a dominant position while it obtained and enforced in Italy its SPC protection over latanoprost. While the news was spread a few weeks ago already (the decision is dated 14 January 2014), the reasons of the decision have just been made available (they bear the date of 12 February 2014).

The story, which commenced in 2010, is already a rather famous one, so I will not dwell again on the facts here. Details can be found in my previous posts here, here and here.

It is sufficient to recall that in September 2012, the Regional Administrative Court – in reversing t [...]

Recent news in the Italian Pfizer antitrust case

In my earlier posts (here and here) I reported and commented on the first two phases of the Italian Pfizer antitrust case, in which the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) accused Pfizer of having abused of a dominant position by judicially enforcing patent rights against generic latanoprost in the Italian Courts. A small but potentially meaningful development now has to be reported while the case is being heard in the last instance by the Supreme Administrative Court, after appeal by the IAA against the decision of the Regional Administrative Court.

The story commenced in October 2010 and concerned the fact that Pfizer had obtained an SPC over latanoprost on the basis of the grant in 2009 of [...]

AIFA officially to apply the “reimbursement price linkage” provisions

In an earlier post, I reported the news that a new piece of legislation (the so called “Balduzzi Decree”, Law No. 189/12 of 8 November 2012 confirming Law Decree 158/12 of 13 September 2012 – a consolidated version of the Decree is available here) introduced a rule which some have already labelled as “reimbursement price linkage”. In substance, according to Article 11 of the Balduzzi Decree, the Italian regulatory Authority will refrain from granting a reimbursable price to approved generic drugs when the reference product is still covered by a patent or SPC.

Last week, AIFA officially confirmed that it will apply such a rule, by issuing a communication to all pharmaceutical compan [...]

IP infringement is (almost) always urgent, says the Court of Turin

By decision of 21 February 2013, the Court of Turin clarified the test for prima facie case in search proceedings and the test for urgency in search proceedings and preliminary proceedings in general. In the case at issue, 4B-Four Bind had obtained an ex-parte search order aimed at inspecting post-print binding machines of competitor KGS, alleged to be infringing 4B’s patents. During the inter-partes hearing which took place after the execution of the search, KGS argued that the legal requirements of prima facie case and urgency had not been met and this gave the court the occasion to extensively clarify, also in general terms and not only by reference to the specific circumstances involve [...]

Strict rules on interest to bring proceedings in Italian interlocutory DJ actions

In one of my earlier posts I gave the news that, after years of uncertainty as to the admissibility of interlocutory (pre trial) declaratory judgements of non infringement in IP cases (here), the amendments introduced to the Italian IP Code in 2010 made it clear that such proceedings are admissible as now explicitly contemplated by statutory provisions. Therefore, DJ actions can be instituted by means of interlocutory proceedings, leading to a declaration of non infringement after a fast-track process. The courts have now experimented this tool on quite some occasions and it is now clear that in order for motions for interlocutory declarations of non infringement not to be rejected on proced [...]

Infringement proceedings must be stayed in case of pending opposition proceedings, says the Court of Turin

By order of 16 October 2012 in Sperotto v. Bolpagni , the Court of Turin stated, in line with a few other of its recent decisions, that patent infringement ordinary proceedings (even if including a cross-claim of revocation) must be stayed until the conclusion of EPO opposition proceedings pending on the allegedly infringed patent, in application of Article 120 IP Code.

In fact, Article 120 IP Code literally says something different. In the Italian system, infringement cases can be brought before the grant of the patent, as soon as the patent application has become public or has been served on the alleged infringer. Article 120 IPCode therefore establishes that no ruling in ordinary proceed [...]

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