Co-author Christiaen Dekoninck. Noteworthy decision on the balance of interests within the framework of  preliminary injunction proceedings: Antwerp Court refuses to issue a preliminary injunction because the patent holder could have started accelerated proceedings on the merits earlier. By a decision of 15 March 2011, the President of the Antwerp Commercial Court dismissed the claims…

Interesting decision on prima facie validity of European patents in Belgian PI proceedings: the respectieve claims of the parties have to be taken into consideration to assess the consequences of an affected prima facie validity. By a decision of 16 November 2010, the President of the Antwerp Commercial Court held that the prima facie validity…

On 20 January 2011, the Commercial Court of Ghent handed down a ruling nullifying the Belgian patent on “speculoospasta” held by biscuit manufacturer Lotus Bakeries. Speculoospasta is a bread spread based on crushed caramel cookies that took the Benelux market by storm when it was commercialized in 2007 by Lotus Bakeries (for every two jars…

In summary proceedings filed by Novartis, the Brussels Court of Appeal issued a preliminary injunction, enjoining Mylan from infringing Novartis’ patent for ‘pharmaceutical compositions for sustained release of Fluvastatine’, until a decision is rendered in the proceedings on the merits. The Court further held that the injunction will be lifted, if the European Patent Office’s…

In a global patent battle between Ajinomoto and Global Biochem Technology (GBT), a Belgian front was opened on March 25, 2008 when Ajinomoto seized more than 4 million kilos of infringing L-Lysine (a compound feed additive) produced by GBT. After unsuccessful third party opposition proceedings by GBT and its European distributors, patent litigation on the…

This matter concerns levocetirizine, which is an enantiomer of cetirizine. The Court held that, at the priority date, it would have been obvious to the skilled person to check whether levocetirizine (which had been individually disclosed before the priority date) had improved pharmacological characteristics compared to the racemic mixture (i.e. cetirizine). As a rule, resolving…

In a court order of 11 May 2010, the President of the Court of First Instance of Brussels refused a plaintiff to have indirect access to confidential information in the possession of a court-appointed expert through foreign patent infringement proceedings.  The court appointed expert had obtained this confidential information while executing a counterfeit seizure, authorized by the…

In the beginning of 2010, Merck Sharp & Dohme (hereafter “Merck”) and E.I. Du Pont de Nemours (hereafter “Du Pont”) on the one hand and Mylan on the other hand entailed in a fight concerning the launch of a generic version of Cozaar Plus®. The Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) of Cozaar Plus®, a combination product consisting of losartan and HCTZ, would expire on 15 February 2010, but Merck and Du Pont tried to prevent the marketing of generic versions of Cozaar Plus® by invoking the SPC for Cozaar®, the monoproduct consisting of Losartan only. In Belgium and France, this case led to very diverging judgments on the interpretation of the SPC Regulation.

The Antwerp Commercial Court dismissed Merck’s claim for injunctive relief against Teva, ruling that Teva’s montelukast-based generic medicines do not infringe Merck’s European patent (EP 0 737 186) with respect to an improved process for preparation of the active ingredient montelukast, either literally or by equivalents. A full summary of this case has been published…