Actavis vs Merck and Swiss Claims

Swiss boy copyrighted iStock PhotoWe overlooked an interesting Note from Prof. Hal Wegner on UK Court of Appeal decision rendered in May 2008. In Actavis UK Ltd. v. Merck & Co. Inc., [2008] EWCA Civ 444 (Court of Appeal 2008) (Ward, Jacob, Rimer, JJ.), the Court of Appeal followed European Patent Office precedent in Genentech/method of administration of IFG-I, T1020/03 [2006] EPOR 9, approving a pharmaceutical use claim, departing from national precedent in favor of a rule following EPC patent precedent.

The court also noted the possibility that a future decision by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in Kos Life Sciences, EPO Enlarged Board G 2/08, referred May 7, 2008, might impact Actavis; it answered the possibility of a conflict emerging by postponing the period for appeal to the House of Lords until after a decision in Kos Life Sciences (see referral of questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal).

See the Note of Prof. Wegner and Lord Justice Jacob’s opinion with his highlights. See here for a Brief History of Swiss claims in pharmaceutical patents and Brian Whitehead, Stuart Jackson and Richard Kempner in “Managing Generic Competition and Patent Strategies in the pharmaceutical Industry”, JIPLP (Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practise) volume 3, number 4, April 2008.

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