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Vetrotech v. Interver, Court of Cassation of France, 13 February 2013 ”

The French Supreme Court condemned a patentee’s undue use of an evidentiary measure (infringement seizure, “saisie-contrefaçon”) as a way to obtain information from a competitor, specifically information relating to the manufacturing processes of its direct competitor, beyond the scope of the lawsuit (“fishing expedition”).

The full summary of this case has been posted on Kluwer IP Law.

Elan Pharma v. Ethypharm, District Court Paris (Tribunal de Grande Instance Paris), 21 December 2012

The Paris District Court clarified its interpretation of Article 123 EPC regarding disclaimer allowability and allowed a disclaimer restoring novelty of a patent.

Click here for the full text of this case.

A summary of this case will be posted on .

Adding is limiting

Syngenta Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Syngenta”), a company governed by the laws of England and Wales, is the holder of European patent No. 0 382 375 entitled “Fungicides”. On 28 September 2009, it submitted to the Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI; French Industrial Property Office) a request for limitation of a claim of the French designation of this patent (pursuant to Art. L. 613-24 of the French Intellectual Property Code; this voluntary limitation procedure independently of any litigation is possible in French law since 1st January 2009 and the entry into force of the French Act No. 2008-776 dated 4 August 2008).


More precisely, Syngenta sought to [...]

Omnipharm Limited / SAS Merial, Court of Appeal Paris (Cour d’appel Paris), 17 February 2012

The Paris Court of Appeal clarified the interest of a potential competitor to seek the revocation of a patent. It was particularly unclear whether any competitor, current or potential, could have a legitimate interest in the form of a “clear the path” approach. However, in this case the Court held that Omnipharm had no legitimate interest to seek revocation of Merial’s patents, as it had failed to prove that it would be able to develop and market a competing product.

A summary of this case will be posted on


A saisie-contrefaçon is not a fishing expedition

The French saisie-contrefaçon is known to be an extremely powerful and effective tool to collect evidence of infringement of a patent (as of any other intellectual property right, see “Saisie-contrefaçon” on Wikipedia and also P. Véron et alii, Saisie-contrefaçon, Paris, Dalloz Action, 3rd ed. 2013-2014). It is a procedure that allows to request and obtain from the Presiding Jugde of the tribunal de grande instance de Paris, an order authorizing the patentee to send a bailiff in order to make a descriptive seizure (which consists in a description by the bailiff’s report of infringing objects and of all facts that could prove the infringement) or physical seizure (where samples of the [...]

A poor consolation

On 15 January 2013, the French Cour de cassation, in the litigation between the Novartis companies and the Actavis companies about valsartan, drew the consequences of the 9 February 2012 order rendered by the CJEU in the frame of a parallel litigation in the United Kingdom.

As already explained in a previous post, the company governed by the laws of Switzerland, Novartis AG, was granted European patent EP 0 443 983 relating to “acyl compounds”, including valsartan, and, after its expiry, a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) No. 97C0050 which was in turn the subject of a pediatric extension expiring on 13 November 2011.


The company governed by the laws of France, Novartis Pharm [...]

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