1 Mayne attacks Teva but loses its patent
LexisNexis's Butterworths All England Direct service has thrown up another useful decision in Mayne Pharma (USA) Inc and others v Teva UK Ltd and another, given by Mr Justice Pumfrey on Wednesday.
The claimants were Mayne, who owned a patent for the stabilisation of an existing formulation of paclitaxel, a pharmaceutical product used in the treatment of cancer, its UK licensee and the licensee's parent company. They sued Teva, another pharmaceutical company, for patent infringement. Teva admitted that it imported, kept and disposed of an allegedly infringing product within the UK but denied infringement, claiming the patent was invalid on the grounds of both obviousness (the invention not really being an invention) and insufficiency (the description didn't give enough information to enable the person skilled in the art to make the invention).
Pumfrey J dismissed the claim. The infringement claim had been made out and the patent was not void for insufficiency; it was however invalid for lack of an inventive step. Whether the step required to bridge the gap between an inventive concept and the common general knowledge would have been obvious to the skilled man had to be decided in the light of all of the available evidence. On that evidence, the inventive concept of the patent was obvious in the light of a prior publication.
Without seeing the evidence, the IPKat is not in a position to make an informed comment. He has however come to conclusion that Teva is a fairly canny company and one which it's worth avoiding fights with if another way can be found. Merpel says: "but what would your preferred commercial strategy be for protecting your IP rights if Teva starts importing products covered by your patent claims?"
2 More on Lipitor
Following yesterday's blog (just scroll down the page a little and you'll find it), the IPKat has the following extra things to add on Pfizer's court victory over Ranbaxy:
* From the comments posted on that blog you can see that the full text of the decision is now reported on BAILII as Ranbaxy UK Limited and Arrow Generics Limited v Warner-Lambert Company;
* Further accounts of the decision can be read in Business Week and The Houston Chronicle.