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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 [...]

T 2130/11 or how to escape the added matter – clarity trap for disclaimers

In T 2130/11 the Board held that a disclaimer removing more than strictly necessary to restore novelty would not be in contradiction with the spirit of G 1/03 if it was required to satisfy Article 84 EPC and it did not lead to an arbitrary reshaping of the claims.

It’s Not Always About What You Do But How You Do It

The recent judgement of the Finnish Market Court (MAO:18/15) given on January 16th provides further guidelines as to what is expect from a method to be patentable especially in relation to existing techniques, while also serving as a good reminder that arguments non-related to the actual subject-matter do not save you, especially if you end up relying mainly on them.

The case involved a patent regarding an invention titled ”a method for manufacturing a health product given as drops” of the Finnish medicine company Oriola Oy (“Oriola”). The invention was an oil-based liquid product given as drops, which included both vitamin D and lactic acid bacteria. Oriola was originally granted t [...]

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 [...]

MSD v. Mylan: conflicting views

by Jan Pot and Ruprecht Hermans

MSD’s European Patent for treating baldness, EP 0 724 444 (‘EP 444’), has been the subject of a number of (in)validity decisions throughout Europe, with differing outcomes. The Dutch chapter in this saga is a decision of the District Court The Hague, which holds that – contrary to the German, French and Italian courts –the patent is valid and infringed.

Claim 1 of EP 444 is a Swiss-type claim for the use of finasteride for the preparation of a medicament for oral administration useful for the treatment of androgenic alopecia in a person and wherein the dosage amount is about 0.05 to 1.0 mg. Androgenic alopecia is a type of baldness occurring in men a [...]

“Self-adhesive tape” – You better limit your Swiss patents in good time

The juxtapositon of patent limitations in national nullity proceedings and before national patent offices on the one hand and according to article 105a EPC on the other hand is a hotly debated issue not only in Switzerland.

In a recently published decision of 2 June 2014 (4A_541/2013), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had to decide – inter alia – whether the limitation of the European Patent 1 508 436 according to article 105a EPC which only took place after the revocation of the Swiss portion of the patent by the Federal Patent Court must still be taken into account.

In brief, claimant requested the nullity of EP 1 508 436 before the Swiss Federal Patent Court.

The patent relates [...]

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