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Hospira clears the way for generic Herceptin

The development of Herceptin (trastuzumab) in the late 1980s and 1990s is one of the most remarkable advances in the treatment of breast cancer. The story of the drug and its pioneer, the “velvet jackhammer”, Dennis Slamon, is neatly summarised in Siddhartha Mukherjee’s award winning novel: “The Emperor of All Maladies – a Biography of Cancer” – a fascinating if not necessarily uplifting read.

In short, unlike traditional chemotherapy, trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody which specifically targets a receptor known as HER-2 which is involved in the development of breast cancer. No-one disputes that the development of Herceptin was a landmark advance in the field of oncology [...]

Ratification by Belgium of the UPC agreement

piter black and white2On 2 April 2014 the parliamentary committee Foreign Affairs of the Belgian House of Representatives voted in favor of the ratification of the UPC agreement. The vote in plenary session is planned for the week of 22 April 2014, but should be no more than a formality. This means that after Austria and France, Belgium will be the third member state to actually ratify the UPC Agreement.

The ratification law comes just in time as the Belgian parliament shall be dissolved at the end of April in preparation of the upcoming national elections of 24 May 2014. Although the government already decided in May last year in principle to ratify the UPC agreement, it took some time to politically agree on th [...]

The CJEU rulings of 30 January 2014 on TRIPS: If you don’t want to get the wrong answer, don’t ask the wrong question

On 30 January 2014 the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) handed down two Decisions in response to two preliminary rulings sought by the same Greek Court that referred the questions answered by the CJEU in its Judgment of 18 July 2013 (Case C‑414/11, Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd, Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH v DEMO Anonimos Viomikhaniki kai Emporiki Etairia Farmakon). In this case, the Greek Court, which was hearing a matter involving a patent that had been granted on 21 October 1986, sought the guidance of the CJEU on whether under Articles 27 and 70 of the TRIPs Agreement a patent protecting a process to obtain a pharmaceutical product would protect the product as such after t [...]

Local UPC chamber to be set up in Denmark

On Friday, 21 February 2014, the Danish Government announced its plans to establish a local division of the UPC in Copenhagen if the Danish referendum on Denmark’s accession to the UPC should turn out positive.

The decision is the result of a political agreement with almost all Danish parties represented in parliament and is widely seen as a counter-move to address concerns voiced by parties in opposition to Denmark’s accession to the UPC. Danish UPC sceptics have expressed concerns in relation to Danish SMEs being forced to conduct proceedings in foreign jurisdictions – not just as plaintiffs, but – perhaps more importantly – as defendants (which, by far, would appear to the role in whi [...]

Facts and figures about Swiss patent litigation: Press release concerning the annual report 2013 of the Swiss Federal Patent Court

Earlier today, the Swiss Federal Courts (including the Swiss Federal Patent Court) published a joint press release concerning their annual reports 2013.

The number of infringement and/or validity cases submitted to the Federal Patent Court in its second year of operation corresponds to the expectations. In total, 22 ordinary proceedings on the merits and 11 summary proceedings were brought before the Court (this is an increase of almost 100% compared to the 17 new cases that had been filed with the Federal Patent Court in 2012).

The Court dealt with 23 cases in 2013. This means that the ratio between output and input is roughly 69%.

In its second business year, the Federal Patent Cour [...]

An expert must be an expert

On 22 October 2013 the Provincial Court of Barcelona (Section 15) handed down a controversial judgment revoking a patent due to lack of inventive activity relying on a technical report prepared by an expert acknowledged not to be an expert in the technical field of the invention. According to the judgment “[...] for an expert to be able to provide the point of view of the person skilled in the art – necessary in this case to assess the inventive activity -, it is not essential for the expert to be an expert but that, due to his training and experience, he is capable of putting himself in the position of the «person skilled in the art».” 

This point of view is at odds with the conclusio [...]

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