Urusaurus /
15 November 2016Big Pharma

Gilead beats Idenix again in Sovaldi legal dispute

The English Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal brought by US company Idenix Pharmaceuticals in a patent battle against Gilead Sciences.

The case centres on European patent number 1,523,489, which claims “a family of nucleoside analogues for treating HCV and other Flaviviridae infections”.

In the case, Idenix claimed that Gilead had infringed the patent by making and selling sofosbuvir, which is marketed under the name Sovaldi.

Gilead denied infringement and counterclaimed for revocation of the patent, stating that the patent lacks novelty, inventive step, and because of insufficiency.

According to the November 8 ruling, Gilead argued that the patent was invalid for lack of inventive step because it did not make a technical contribution.

Gilead further argued that it was not plausible that substantially all of the compounds covered by the claims would be effective against Flaviviridae, a family of viruses.

The dispute came to trial before Mr Justice Arnold in October 2014. He gave a judgment on December 1 that year, stating that sofosbuvir fell within the scope of the claims of the patent, but that the patent was invalid for lack of novelty, inventive step and because of insufficiency.

Idenix contested the judge’s ruling and appealed, claiming that Arnold erred at almost every stage of his analysis.

However, three judges at the appeals court dismissed the appeal.

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