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The best things in life are unexpected because there were no expectations (Eli Khamarov)

Apart from the enthralling Lyrica saga which began in earnest back in January, and the main trial of which recently began before Arnold J, 2015 has not witnessed many significant pharmaceutical patent decisions from the UK patents courts. Thus, three cases in this field which, rather like London buses, arrived almost simultaneously, have provided welcome food for thought to life sciences patent enthusiasts.

The three cases were Smith & Nephew v Convatec (24 June 2015) and Eli Lilly v Actavis (25 June 2015) from the Court of Appeal and a decision from Arnold J in Hospira v Genentech (24 June 2015), part of the on-going campaign to clear the way in respect of certain Genentech patents relatin [...]

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 [...]

EPO: T0025/13, European Patent Office (EPO), Board of Appeal, T0025/13, 20 November 2014

The Board emphasized that there was a relation between who was to be considered to be the skilled person for judging inventive step on one hand and the choice of the closest prior art on the other hand. A general problem to modify a product from one field so that it could be used in any field failed to incite the relevant skilled person to select application to the specific other field of the patent, and directing the problem to a specific other field would add an impermissible pointer to the solution.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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Mollusc patent litigation: going back in time

For those who thought that patent litigation was only relevant for big pharma or cutting-edge telecom devices, it may be of interest to learn about a relatively recent judgment from the Court of Appeal of A Coruña that has resolved a fierce dispute around patents protecting mollusc cleaning machines. A Coruña is one of the main cities on the coast of Galicia, one of the gastronomic paradises of European seafood lovers. So it is not surprising that the dispute revolved around four machines that the defendant had acquired for the purpose of cleaning molluscs.

In its judgment of 11 September 2014, the Court of Appeal of A Coruña dismissed the appeal filed by the owner of two patents that pro [...]

Norway: Teva Norway AS v. Astrazeneca Ab, District Court of Olso, 13-189803TVI-OTIR/04, 27 June 2014

The Oslo District Court held that the expired Norwegian patent 306452 (“452 Patent”) was invalid due to lack of inventive step, which implied that its supplementary protection certificate SPC014 was invalid as well. The court also found the 176 Patent invalid.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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Enantiomer “Repaglinide” found to lack Inventive Step in Germany

by Stephan Disser

The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) has just issued its written decision in the case “Repaglinid” (X ZR 128/09). As far as can be seen, the decision is not yet available on the FCJ’s website www.bundesgerichtshof.de. The FCJ rejected the patent proprietor’s appeal against the decision of the Federal Patent Court revoking the German part of EP 0 589 874 for lack of inventive step. The decision contains some interesting aspects regarding the assessment of inventive step by the FCJ in the pharma field and in general.

Claimed in the patent-in-suit is the use of an enantiomer (Repaglinide) as active substance in the preparation of a long-term antidiabetic agent charact [...]

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