The Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris in its 28 May 2010 decision, Institut Pasteur v Société Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, illustrates the specificity of the French doctrine of equivalents, rejecting the “file wrapper estoppel” theory as it is known in the US. However, since it applies the doctrine of equivalents although the function of the claimed means is not novel, this decision does not seem to be in line with the majority of decisions rendered on that item.

On 22 June 2010, the English Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in yet another case involving stents in Occlutech v. AGA Medical. The appeal was dismissed with the result that AGA’s patent was held not infringed by Occlutech. The decision itself is interesting for three reasons: First, and most importantly, the decision contains…

The District Court of The Hague holds that in case of ambiguities in the claim language the skilled man will consult the prosecution history to determine the scope of protection. The patent can not be construed in such manner that it would lack novelty over prior art from which the patent was explicitly delimited during…

The Barcelona Court of Appeal found that the process used by the defendants to obtain amlodipine was not equivalent to the process protected by the patent in suit. The Court relied on the three Catnic questions test, applied by the English Courts until 2004, to come to this conclusion that the patent was not infringed…

The District Court of The Hague held that Abbott does not infringe Medinol’s patent. According to the Court there is also no reason to accept infringement by equivalence, since the meander patterns in the infringing embodiment fulfill another function than the claimed ‘second meander patterns’ as further explained in the patent in suit. This means…

The Antwerp Commercial Court dismissed Merck’s claim for injunctive relief against Teva, ruling that Teva’s montelukast-based generic medicines do not infringe Merck’s European patent (EP 0 737 186) with respect to an improved process for preparation of the active ingredient montelukast, either literally or by equivalents. A full summary of this case has been published…

In this decision the Danish Supreme Court for the first time uses equivalents as a legal base for violation of a patent. Equivalents have long been a part of Danish patent law, but the Supreme Court has been cautious and reserved concerning their use. The respondent in this case had a Danish patent, concerning a…