Alendronate dosage patent: the Hague District Court rules

The IPKat has just learned from his Dutch friends Mark van Gardingen and Richard Ebbink (Brinkhof) that the Hague District Court today not only nullified the Dutch segment of Merck's European patent (EP 1 175 904) for a 70 mg once-weekly dosage regimen of alendronate (an osteoporosis medicament) but, for the first time in Europe as far as they are aware, also granted a declaratory judgment that tablets containing 70 mg generic alendronate, intended for once-weekly use to treat osteoporosis, were obvious to the skilled man on the priority date of the '904 patent as well as any pending or future divisional based on the same priority filing.

Right: some patients prefer to receive their dosages as infrequently as possible

Today's Dutch decision has employed the rationale used by Mr Justice Kitchin in his 31 July 2007 decision (see IPKat post here) concerning the UK part of the same European patent and divisionals to its ultimate consequence. Indeed, the Dutch decision actually refers to Kitchin J’s decision.

The IPKat, who thanks Mark and Richard for sending him this news item, suspects that further discussion of the deployment of the declaration as a tool in patent litigation may just be around the corner.

One reason why alendronate is big business here
Alendronate dosage patent: the Hague District Court rules Alendronate dosage patent: the Hague District Court rules Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 Rating: 5

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