The development of Herceptin (trastuzumab) in the late 1980s and 1990s is one of the most remarkable advances in the treatment of breast cancer. The story of the drug and its pioneer, the “velvet jackhammer”, Dennis Slamon, is neatly summarised in Siddhartha Mukherjee’s award winning novel: “The Emperor of All Maladies – a Biography of…

a) The applicant is not obliged to limit the protective scope to explicitly described embodiments, but may make certain generalisations to cover the entire invention. b) Whether a claim containing generalisations is enabled depends on whether the protective scope extends beyond the most generalized teaching solving the underlying problem. c) Functionally describing a group of…

Different views from the EPO and Germany on the same case 1. Introduction Functional features in patent claims may provide protection not only for specific embodiments disclosed in the patent specification, but also for undisclosed (future) embodiments. A classic example is a claim of the format “An inhibitor of protein P for the treatment of…

Introduction In my previous post of 2 August 2013 I made passing reference to the recent decision of the English Court of Appeal in the Copaxone litigation. This case was an appeal of the decision of Arnold J (previously reported here) where he found Yeda’s patent valid and infringed. With permission of the court, Mylan…

It could be argued that 2013 is proving to be somewhat unkind to UK patentees when it comes to the issues of sufficiency and priority. On 25 June 2013, in a typically comprehensive judgment running to some 90 pages, Arnold J held that Janssen’s patent was invalid for insufficiency. The relevant facts were as follows:…

In our post on 30 October 2012 we referred to forthcoming appeals dealing with how the question of obviousness should be tackled by the English courts. The Court of Appeal has now given its verdict in several judgments. The latest decision in Regeneron v Genentech dealt not only with the question of obviousness but also…

On 20 March 2012, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris rendered its decision in the case relating to raloxifene, a molecule useful for treating or preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, opposing Teva to Eli Lilly. This decision raises many questions, first concerning drug patents in particular (patentability of second medical use, patentability of the resolution of…

The English High Court has upheld the decision of the UK Intellectual Property Office to refuse the grant of a patent for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with zinc (El-Tawil v The Comptroller General of Patents [2012] EWHC 185 (Ch)). Although the case does not break new ground, it provides a useful review…

Gemcitabine is part of the family of nucleosides which are compounds constituted of two chemical parts: a sugar bound to a nucleobase through a glycosidic bond. As any nucleoside can have two isomers (the alpha-anomer and the beta-anomer) depending on the orientation in space of the glycosidic bond, it must be clarified that Gemcitabine is…