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Fordham Conference 2015 – US Patent Law Developments

Dimitrios T Drivas (White & Case) gave the speedy run down on the following points and cases, which some might find useful for following up on points of interest:

Supreme Court

The decision that in exceptional cases reasonable attorney’s fees may be paid to the prevailing party (an exception to the rule that each party bears its own costs in the USA). The exception was interpreted to mean some sort of ‘bad faith’ by the Federal Circuit overturning the District Court decision. The Supreme Court found that the District Court’s decision should be given due deference.

‘Indefiniteness’ has gone from ‘insoluble ambiguity’ to ‘fails to inform with reasonable certainty’.

Induced infringement (Limel [...]

German court reverses decision on pemetrexed dipotassium (Eli Lilly v Actavis)

With its judgment of March 5, 2015 (I-2 U 16/14), the Higher Regional Court (HRC) Dusseldorf reversed the first-instance decision and has now come to same conclusion as did the High Court of Justice for England and Wales (here) by holding that pemetrexed dipotassium does not fall within the equivalent scope of protection of EP1 313 508 claiming pemetrexed disodium (in a combination formulation with vitamin B12 or a pharmaceutical derivative thereof). The facts of the case have been set out in the above-referenced blog by our colleagues at Bristows, to which we wish to refer.

In the above-mentioned High Court decision, a significant factor was the prosecution history. Justice Arnold summari [...]

New news about the doctrine of equivalence in German case law

About half a year ago I reported on new developments in German case law concerning the doctrine of equivalence (see Just at the beginning of this month my colleague Bernward posted about further developments (see Now again, there is a recent decision of the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) dealing with the doctrine of equivalence to report on.

The decision “Kochgefäß” (“cooking pan”, X ZR 81/13) dealt most prominently with the first question to be asked under the German doctrine of equivalence if there is no literal in [...]

Doctrine of equivalence: most recent decision

The German Bundesgerichtshof has issued a decision (X ZR 41/13) called “Quetiapin” which discusses a fundamental question of the Patent Law, i.e. the definition of the “technical problem” underlying an invention. The claim of the European Patent under discussion concerned a sustained release formulation. The Patent Court had nullified the (German part of the) patent and the Bundesgerichtshof has rejected the appeal which the patent owner had filed against the first instance Patent Court’s decision. The Bundesgerichtshof took the opportunity of this case to address the definition of the technical problem. The court admonishes that not necessarily one has to look to the “object” [...]

The Danish High Court (Eastern Division) upholds the City Court’s decision to deny an interim injunction against sale of generic pharmaceuticals containing drospirenone

On February 13, 2015 the Eastern High Court of Denmark issued a decision in an appeal in interlocutory proceedings regarding an application for an interim injunction against the marketing and sale of generic medicines (birth-control pills) containing, inter alia, drospirenone.

Bayer is the proprietor of two patents regarding a method for producing drospirenone. On June 25, 2013 Bayer (immediately before the administration of justice reform on the jurisdiction of the Maritime and Commercial Court in proceedings regarding interim injunctions concerning intellectual property entered into force) filed an application for an interim injunction against Sandoz’ marketing and sale of generic pharmace [...]

News about the doctrine of equivalence in German case law

The doctrine of equivalence has seen some kind of renaissance in German case law recently. In short words, there are three questions to be asked to decide for equivalent infringement if there is no literal infringement. The first one being the question about the effect of the different solution. Do the means used to solve the problem underlying the invention objectively have the same effect? If so, would this different solution have been discovered by the man skilled in the art at the time of the priority date? The objective of this second question to be asked is whether it was kind of obvious to use the different approach instead even though it does not fall under the literal meaning of the [...]

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