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“Que le pouvoir arrête le pouvoir” – From Montesquieu to Battistelli

Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu knew it all as early as 1748: “Experience teaches that every human being who has the power tends to abuse it. Therefore, it is necessary that the power sets limits to the power. There are three things in every state authority: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. There is no freedom, if they are not separated from each other.”

Okay, why should a French President in 2014 bother about what one of his learned countrymen wrote in a book in the baroque times? Perhaps because it still matters. On 3 December 2014 the President of the EPO had one member of the Boards of Appeal escorted out of the Office by his “Investigation Unit” and imposed a “ [...]

15 years are enough! ECJ decided on the maximum period of exclusivity of a patent and SPC

by Miriam Büttner

In a recent decision the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on the maximum period of exclusivity of a patent and a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) (Order of the Court dated 13 February 2014 – case no C-555/13, Merck Canada Inc. vs. Accord Healthcare Ltd and others).

Background:

Merck Canada Inc. (Merck) lodged an application for a patent for the active ingredient “montelukast sodium” in Portugal on 11 October 1991, which was granted on 2 Octo-ber 1998. The first marketing authorization (MA) for a medicinal product containing that active ingredient within the European Union was obtained in Finland on 25 Au-gust 1997. Merck applied for a SPC with the Port [...]

Danish Supreme Court decision on preemptory invalidity in relation to a patent application (Dupont/Danisco v. Novozymes)

We have previously reported (post 28 August 2012) on ongoing litigation in Denmark between DuPont/Danisco and Novozymes resulting at the time in the grant of an interlocutory injunction being firstly granted and then revoked as the patent-in-suit was subsequently invalidated.

In a more recent development, DuPont/Danisco filed suit at the Maritime & Commercial Court (MCC) claiming that Novozymes be ordered to acknowledge that a patent application, when and if ultimately granted, should be held invalid in Denmark.

Novozymes argued, principally, that the action be dismissed and in the alternative that Novozymes be aquitted. The principal plea for dismissal was then made the subject of separate [...]

Discussion on Unitary Patent renewal fees is speeding up

Time is closing in on two of the most hotly debated issues of the Unitary Patent (UP) package: the level of the UP renewal fees and the distribution key for the partition of these fees between participating Member States. Work on the latter, politically highly sensitive, issue was launched at the 10th meeting of the EPO Select Committee last October. Although the summer of 2015 was announced as target date, officials involved in setting up the UPC system have recently raised the possibility that it will be late 2015 before the fees are fixed.

Business Europe, a Brussels-based lobbygroup with members in 33 European countries and an observer to the fee negotiations in the Select Committee, rec [...]

Herceptin Round 2: Hospira enjoys the sweet smell of success once more

By Brian Cordery and Steven Willis

Regular readers of the Kluwer patent blog may recall that in April 2014, the English Patents Court revoked two patents relating to trastuzumab, the active ingredient in Herceptin, which is marketed outside of the US by Roche. One patent was for a dosage regimen and the other related to a composition of trastuzumab containing certain levels of impurities. The SPC for trastuzumab itself subsequently expired in July 2014, but as yet, Hospira has not launched its competing medicine in the UK. As part of its campaign to clear the way for launch, Hospira challenged two further related divisional patents – this time relating to lyophilised formulations of tra [...]

Patentability of biotechnology inventions: “O time thou must untangle this, not I. It is too hard a knot for me to untie”

Although Brian Cordery will try to have you believe that the title of this blog is borrowed from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, it may well have been taken from the Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament dated 14 July 2005 on Development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, where the Commission wrote that:

There is no immediate answer to the question of the patentability of embryonic pluripotent stem cells and indeed at this stage it would appear premature to come to a definitive conclusion. The Commission will continue to monitor developments in this area.”

No additional progress appears to have been made [...]

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