There have not been many decisions in 2010 from the English Patents Court that are likely to be regarded in future decades as seminal judgments. However, in the author’s view, the judgment of the Court of Appeal of 28 July 2010 in Schlumberger Holdings Limited v Electromagnetic Geoservices AS is likely to be cited frequently…

A 1 July 2009 decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris illustrates how the French courts proceed when they are seised of a nullity claim of the French designation of a European patent against which opposition may be filed or opposition proceedings are pending.

In a case involving the US multinational Mars and an Italian producer of rice (Riseria Monferrato), the Court of Appeal of Turin, by decision of 19 November 2008, tackled – one of the few cases in Italian case law – the interesting issue of the difference between discoveries and inventions and their patentability. The case…

This matter concerns levocetirizine, which is an enantiomer of cetirizine. The Court held that, at the priority date, it would have been obvious to the skilled person to check whether levocetirizine (which had been individually disclosed before the priority date) had improved pharmacological characteristics compared to the racemic mixture (i.e. cetirizine). As a rule, resolving…

By decision no. 6967/2009 of 14 May 2009, the IP Chamber of the Court of Milan found for the invalidity of a patent claiming the second medical use of a known pharmaceutical product for lack of inventive step. This decision is remarkable for at least two reasons. Firstly, the Court departed from the findings of…

The District Court of The Hague granted Mundipharma a provisional injunction against Sandoz for infringement of its patent for a controlled release oxycodon formulation. The District Court suspended its decision on the validity and infringement of the patent in the main action until a final decision has been rendered in the opposition proceedings. The Court…

The English Court of Appeal dismissed Novartis’ appeal against the finding of the Patents Court that Novartis’ patent for a sustained release formulation of fluvastatin was invalid for obviousness. The case was unusual because, at first instance, Warren J. had held the patent to be inventive on a conventional analysis but then went on to find it obvious using an acontextual approach. The Court of Appeal discussed the correct approach to the question of obviousness in English law, by reference to both the problem and solution approach developed by the European Patent Office and the established four-step approach developed by the English Courts in Windsurfing v Tabur Marine and Pozzoli v BDMO .