Experts slow down patent trial
The IPKat's sensitive nose has tracked down Baxter Healthcare Corporation and another v Abbott Laboratories and another  EWHC 919 (Pat), currently available on LexisNexis' Butterworths All England Direct subscription service but, it seems, nowhere else. This is a Patents Court decision of yesterday's date from Mr Justice Pumfrey.
Back in December 2005, the court ordered Abbott to set out its case, after Baxter applied for a declaration of non-infringement and sought revocation of one of Abbott's patents. After the parties agreed that aspects of how Baxter made its fluoroether composition, sevoflurane, its formation and the impurities that were present in it, were all relevant to this dispute, Abbott applied for an order compelling Baxter to give more specific details of the product and process description that formed the subject of its action. A report from one of Abbott's experts later suggested that even more information should be obtained. Baxter said it needed time to investigate Abbott's request and sought adjournment of the trial.
The suggestion was made that (i) the possibility that fluorinated amines were present in Baxter's product was not only not the responsibility of Abbott but positively of Baxter's own doing and that (ii) the failure to disclose a certain chemical product report footnoted to the Abbreviated New Drug Application caused the late suggestion by Abbott's expert.
Pumfrey J granted the adjournment Baxter sought, ordering Abbott to pay the costs that had been wasted on the way.
* The report was necessary in order to eliminate certain routes for the production of amines, to determine the nature of the amine present. However, the disclosure of the report was not necessary to establish the possibility.The IPKat would like to know more about this case. He feels that experts too often hinder the progress of litigation rather than assist it and fervently wishes that, to this end, judges would be more proactive in their exercise of case management powers.
*Baxter could have time to determine whether amine impurities were of such a level that they could change the product description so as to specify their presence at a level at which it was accepted that their presence did not affect matters.
Crystallise your fluorinated amines here
Fresh air in Leeds: now the truth can be told
From litigation to ADR, before ... (right)
John Lambert informs the IPKat that, for those who fancy a bracing change of scenery, there is a free seminar on Alternative Dispute Resolution in IP Disputes at BPP Law School, 2 Whitehall Quays, Leeds on 10 May 2006 between 14:00 and 17:00. Three top speakers are lined up:
This seminar will not be repeated, so it is worth re-arranging a diary and even travelling some distance. To find out why, see the post in John Lambert's blog. Space is limited to 25 persons so let John know as soon as possible.
* Ignacio de Castro (WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, Geneva) on international developments;
* Peter Back (UK Patent Office) on the new Patent Office mediation service and other initiatives;
... and after (left)
* Sara Ludlam (Keeble Hawson) who was, until she assumed her present partnership, an in-house legal advisor in Manchester. Sara will give the industry point of view.
The IPKat says ADR can be a breath of fresh air. Especially, adds Merpel, after applications like that made in Baxter v Abbott, above.