It is hard to think of a recent SPC case before the UK courts where the judge has not had to refer questions to the CJEU in order to either clarify the terms of the SPC Regulation or the CJEU’s earlier interpretations. This necessity has arisen at an early stage in an action between Actavis and Boehringer Ingelheim before the High Court of England & Wales ( EWHC 2927 (Pat)) concerning the validity of an SPC for a combination product.
Boehringer Ingelheim were the proprietors of EP (UK) 0,502,314 which expired on 30 January 2012. Claim 5 of this patent was said to protect the active ingredient Telmisartan (used for the treatment of hypertension). This is the active ingredient in Bo [...]
In Medeva (C-322/10 of 24 November 2011) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had ruled that a Supplementary Protection Certificate relating to a combination of active ingredients can only be granted in view of Art. 3(a) of the Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009, if the active ingredients are “specified” in the wording of the claims of the basic patent relied on. Otherwise, in the view of the CJEU, the necessary protection in the sense of Art. 3(a) of the Regulation does not exist. Since it remains fully unclear what the CJEU means with “specified”, a term alien to patent law, this question meanwhile has become the subject matter of two new referrals to the CJEU, i.e. C-443/12 [...]
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 [...]
The High Court (Arnold J.) decided to refer further questions on the interpretation of Article 3 of the SPC Regulation to the CJEU,, particularly in relation to the Article 3(a) requirement that “the product is protected by a basic patent in force”, suggesting an interpretation which focuses on the “inventive concept” of the patent rather than the particular wording of the claims despite the ruling in Medeva. In addition, the Court sought clarification on whether it is possible to obtain more than one SPC per patent, given the differing interpretations of the Biogen decision in light of Medeva.
Click here for the full text of this case.
A summary of this case will be posted on http://www.K [...]
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 [...]
Faithfully implementing Article 9 §4 of Directive No. 2004/48/EC, Arti-cle L. 615–3 of the French Intellectual Property Code (hereinafter referred to as “IPC”) authorizes French courts to grant an interim injunction order after an inter partes proceedings (before the Judge ruling in preliminary proceedings) but also after an ex parte proceedings. As required by the EC Directive, the ex parte proceedings is reserved for the appropriate cases, where it seems necessary, “when the circumstances require that such measure should not be taken in the presence of both parties, in particular when any delay would be likely to cause an irreparable damage to the claimant”.
But, in practice, wha [...]