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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 [...]

Offer for development no obvious pre-use

by Miriam Büttner

In a recent decision the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, FCJ) dealt with the requirements of an obvious pre-use (judgment of 9 December 2014, docket no. X ZR 6/13 – Presszange).

In 2011 plaintiff attacked the German part of the European Patent 1 223 008 (DE 502 06 178.2), which concerns the construction of a crimping plier. Such crimping pliers are mainly used for sanitary installations to connect two pipes via a connecting piece called “fitting”. Plaintiff based its nullity suit inter alia on an obvious pre-use of the protected invention. In this regard plaintiff submitted correspondence with a manufacturer of crimping pliers to develop a crimpin [...]

SPC revoked, PI lifted, but no damages awarded

In the Sanofi v. Teva ruling of 10 July 2014, the Court of Milan clarified the test for abuse of process, and denied an award of damages allegedly caused by the issue of a preliminary injunction which was later lifted due to the revocation of the enforced SPC.

The case concerned the Italian part of the irbesartan saga, in which Sanofi was engaged in several countries in the enforcement of its CoAprovel SPCs, covering irbesartan + hydrochlorothiazide. In the aftermath of the Medeva/Georgetown decisions, Sanofi obtained preliminary injunctions against generic CoAprovel in several jurisdictions, on the assumption that the combination irbesartan + hydrochlorothiazide was “specified in the wo [...]

U.S. Appeals Court Strikes Blow To Diagnostic Method Patents

The Federal Circuit has issued its long-awaited decision in Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc., but the decision is not good news for those seeking to obtain or enforce U.S. patents on diagnostic methods. The appeals court affirmed the district court’s finding that Sequenom’s claims are invalid under 35 USC § 101, applying the analytical framework set forth in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Mayo decision in a way that could have a ripple effect across the diagnostic and personalized medicine industry.

The Claims At Issue 

The Sequenom patent at issue was U.S. Patent 6,258,540. The claimed technology relates to diagnostic methods for determining certain fetal characteristics such as [...]

Germany: The provision of information as a technical teaching? (Federal Court of Justice, “Bildstrom”)

The German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, FCJ) has issued the decision “Bildstrom” (judgment of 26 February 2015, docket no. X ZR 37/13) dealing with the patentability of a system and a method for displaying an image stream.

The attacked patent EP 1474927 concerns a technical teaching for displaying an image stream, wherein at least two subset image streams are displayed simultaneously and the subset image streams are created from one original image stream. The original image stream may for example be recorded by a swallowable capsule and two subset image streams may e.g. show every second frame of the original image stream in original speed so that each frame is displayed [...]

Concerns over proposed patent exemption for physicians and pharmacies in Switzerland

By Mark Schweizer, Reinhard Oertli and Simon Holzer

The Swiss lawmaker plans to introduce a new exemption from patent protection for physicians and pharmacies. The new exemptions aims to protect physicians and pharmacies from being involved in patent disputes concerning second medical use claims according to the EPC 2000 (purpose-limited product Claims).

From Swiss-type claims to purpose-limited product claims

As is well know, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office held in a widely reported decision that under the European Patent Convention in the version adopted in 2000, which entered into force on 13 December 2007, claims to a second or further medical use of known phar [...]

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