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Patents

11 South Square has a rich pedigree in patent disputes.  We offer extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of patent and Supplementary Protection Certificate prosecution and enforcement. In addition to infringement, revocation and entitlement actions in the English courts, members of chambers act in proceedings in the European Patent Office and the UK Intellectual Property Office.  We regularly appear in high value, multi-jurisdictional patent actions involving complex subject matter and elements of competition law. Some members of chambers have appeared as experts on UK patent law in other jurisdictions.

All members of chambers accept patent cases in all technical fields; some individuals have particular strengths in certain technologies such as biotechnology, chemistry or electronics and telecommunications. Further information on the special expertise of individual members of Chambers is available from the clerks.

 

Notable Cases

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd v LEO Pharma [2015] EWCA Civ 779

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd v LEO Pharma [2015] EWCA Civ 779

A claim for revocation by TEVA of two patents covering LEO’s fixed combination of calcipotriol and betamethasone for the dermal treatment of psoriasis.

The invention overcame differing pH sensitivities of the two actives by using a unusual solvent in a non-aqueous formulation.   Birss J found the patents obvious over a disclosure of that solvent in a mono-formulation of betamethasone.  He found that the solvent would be obvious to try in the co-formulation.  The Court of Appeal disagreed.  The evidence did not establish that such a trial would have a fair expectation of success.

Henry Carr QC and Tom Alkin acted for Leo.

First Instance [2014] EWHC 3096 (Pat)

Court of Appeal [2015] EWCA Civ 779

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc v Gilead Sciences Inc [2014] EWHC 3916 (Pat)

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc v Gilead Sciences Inc [2014] EWHC 3916 (Pat)

Infringement proceedings brought by Idenix in relation to “Sovalidi”, a drug for treating Hepatitis C virus.  Patent held to be infringed but invalid.

Piers Acland QC acted for Idenix

[2014] EWHC 3916 (Pat)

 

International Stem Cell Corporation v Comptroller General C-364/13 [2014]

International Stem Cell Corporation v Comptroller General C-364/13 [2014]

Preliminary ruling of the CJEU in relation to the patentability of methods of producing stem cells from parthenogenetcally-activated human oocytes.  The Court held that such oocytes are not to be regarded as ‘human embryos’ within the meaning of Directive 98/44/EC.

Piers Acland QC acted for International Stem Cell Corporation

[2014] EUECJ C-364/13

 

Generics (UK) Ltd (t/a Mylan) v Richter Gedeon Vegyeszeti Gyar RT [2014] EWHC 1666 (Pat)

Generics (UK) Ltd (t/a Mylan) v Richter Gedeon Vegyeszeti Gyar RT [2014] EWHC 1666 (Pat)

The patent in suit was for a dosing regimen for use in emergency contraception, comprising 1.5 mg levonorgestrel taken as a single dose. The prior art disclosed the interim results of a clinical trial in which such a regimen was used but mistakenly referred to the dose as 1.5 g (not mg). The Court held that it would have been immediately apparent to the skilled person that there was a mistake and it would have been obvious to consult the author of the prior art or one of the presenters of the interim data to find out the correct dose. Furthermore it was obvious from the interim data that the claimed dosing regimen could be investigated with a reasonable or fair expectation of success. The patent in suit was therefore invalid.

Piers Acland QC appeared for the Claimant. Michael Silverleaf QC appeared for the Defendant.

[2014] EWHC 1666 (Pat)

IPCom v. HTC Europe & others [2013] EWCA Civ. 1496

IPCom v. HTC Europe & others [2013] EWCA Civ. 1496

Henry Carr QC, Brian Nicholson, and Kathryn Pickard acted for IPCom, successfully resisting HTC’s appeal against Mr Justice Roth’s refusal to stay infringement and validity proceedings on a European Patent (UK) until the conclusion of co-pending European Patent Office Opposition Proceedings.  In this important decision, the Court of Appeal undertook a careful review of the so-called Glaxo Guidance (following the observation of the Supreme Court in Virgin Atlantic Airways v. Zodiac Seats UK [2013] UKSC 46  that such a review was necessary in the light of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Unilin, Coflexip and Poulton).  The recast guidance will apply to the conduct of all future UK Patent cases where there are co-pending Opposition Proceedings before the EPO.

 

[2013] EWCA Civ.1496

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 46

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 46

Henry Carr QC, Iain Purvis QC, and Brian Nicholson acted for Zodiac on its appeal to the Supreme Court on the so-called Unilin point (that damages remain payable after a UK infringement trial even if the patent is subsequently amended or revoked in the EPO).  Zodiac succeeded on its appeal, with the Supreme Court overturning Unilin, Coflexip and Poulton, holding that it was open to Zodiac to say on any inquiry as to damages that Virgin had suffered no damage.  As the Supreme Court noted in its Judgment, the decision calls for reconsideration of the existing practices (Glaxo etc.) where there are co-pending proceedings before the UK Patents Court and the EPO.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 46

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