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Some of the parties involved in the landmark patent case Biogen v Medeva met in London in February to discuss the dispute in front of an invited audience. Here is an overview of their memories and the lessons they learned.
It may be hard to imagine Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington sitting down to reminisce after the Battle of Waterloo, and it’s perhaps just as hard to imagine warring legal parties doing so after a long and hard-fought battle. But that is what happened in February when the parties involved in the landmark patent case Biogen v Medeva met to reminisce about their involvement in the case before an invited audience.
The Biogen v Medeva litigation began in 1992 when biotechnology company Biogen brought proceedings against Medeva at the Patents Court (part of the English High Court) for the alleged infringement of a patent for a hepatitis B virus vaccine using recombinant DNA technology. The patent could be construed in such a way that it could in effect block all other ways of achieving the same result via different routes.
At the time, DNA technology was in its infancy and Biogen was one of the leaders in the field. The company was founded in 1978 in Switzerland by a group of the world’s most accomplished biologists, one of whom proceeded to develop the technology for the hepatitis B vaccine in question.
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Biogen, Medeva, patents, English High Court, DNA, House of Lords,