The IPKat's friend Richard Evans (Informa Law) has pointed out that the appeal brought by Angiotech against a High Court ruling revoking their patent (EP0706376) relating to paclitaxel (Taxol)-coated stents has failed. Lord Justice Jacob, as usual taking the lead in the Court of Appeal on IP matters, has upheld Mr Justice Pumfrey's earlier decision finding Angiotech's patent invalid for being obvious. The decision is available from Bailii here, and the earlier High Court decision here.
According to IP World Online, Angiotech are not too upset about this setback, as they have other Taxol stent patents in their portfolio, which this decision does not apparently affect, and the EPO have upheld the patent in opposition proceedings. A quick check on the European Patent Office's epoline service shows that Angiotech in fact have no fewer than 10 other EP applications deriving from EP0706376, so will have another few cracks at the whip before all is lost. Also, Angiotech still have various parallel national patents in Europe including one in Holland, deriving from the same European application, which last year was upheld by a Dutch court.
Whether the UK courts are too strict on patentees or the EPO and other European courts are too lax is a difficult one to judge, and not an issue the IPKat feels comfortable commenting on. However, this is clearly one of those cases where the decision is finely balanced and can easily go either way. As far as Angiotech are concerned though, this is clearly one that is well worth fighting all the way for.
Tuesday, 16 January 2007
Posted by David at 7:12:00 p.m.