7 July 2017Big Pharma

UK Supreme Court rules against Actavis in Eli Lilly patent dispute

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Actavis’s generic versions of cancer drug Alimta directly infringe patents owned by Eli Lilly, reversing two earlier decisions.

In a statement issued today, July 7, ahead of the full decision, which is expected on Wednesday, July 12, the court said Actavis’s products infringe patents in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

The court also affirmed an earlier ruling that the drugs would have infringed the patents in the absence of direct infringement.

Eli Lilly’s patents cover the use of pemetrexed in co-therapy with vitamin B12.

Actavis and others had applied for declarations of non-infringement of the relevant European patent—EP 1,313, 508 (registered in the UK)—as well as the corresponding national designations in France, Italy and Spain.

In May 2014, Mr Justice Arnold at the English Patents Court held that Actavis’s products would not infringe the patents, directly or indirectly.

Following this, in June 2015, Lord Justices Kitchin, Floyd and Longmore at the English Court of Appeal upheld Arnold’s decision on direct infringement, but reversed the indirect infringement finding.

In today’s ruling, the Supreme Court maintained the position that there would be indirect infringement but rejected the previous decisions that there was no direct infringement.

The court was assessing direct infringement under article 69 of the European Patent Convention 2000 and indirect infringement under section 60(2) of the UK Patents Act 1977.

Daniel Brook, partner at Hogan Lovells, which represented Eli Lilly, said the ruling vindicates the company’s position after five years of “hard-fought litigation, and we look forward to receiving the reasoned judgment next week”.

More to follow on Wednesday.

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4 April 2017   A five-year dispute between Eli Lilly and Actavis over a cancer drug is being heard today at the UK Supreme Court.
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12 July 2017   The UK Supreme Court has reformulated the three questions that should be asked when testing for equivalent patent infringement.

More on this story

Big Pharma
4 April 2017   A five-year dispute between Eli Lilly and Actavis over a cancer drug is being heard today at the UK Supreme Court.
Big Pharma
12 July 2017   The UK Supreme Court has reformulated the three questions that should be asked when testing for equivalent patent infringement.

More on this story

Big Pharma
4 April 2017   A five-year dispute between Eli Lilly and Actavis over a cancer drug is being heard today at the UK Supreme Court.
Big Pharma
12 July 2017   The UK Supreme Court has reformulated the three questions that should be asked when testing for equivalent patent infringement.