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Actavis v Lilly: the madness begins

日期: 16 January 2018

By Dr Janet Strath and Reuben Jacob


Generics (UK) Ltd (t/a Mylan) v Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd [2017] EWHC 2629 (Pat), 26 October 2017


In light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Actavis UK Ltd v Eli Lilly and Co [2017] UKSC 48, the Patents Court has considered the correct approach to the interpretation of patent claims and Mr Justice Arnold has held that the doctrine of equivalents does not apply when assessing novelty.


This decision represents a significant change from the previous position in English patent law, namely that claims must be construed the same way for purposes of assessing patent validity and patent infringement. Arnold J found that the patent at issue, which covered a dosage regimen for the administration of glatiramer acetate (GA) for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), was invalid for obviousness, as the dosage regimen was nothing more than a small and simple variation on the teaching of a prior art patent. After considering recent case law, Arnold J declined to grant the 'Arrow' declaration which the claimants sought 'to clear the way', finding that the defendants had not sought to shield the subject matter of the patent from scrutiny by the courts, the patentees had vigorously defended the validity of the patent at issue and an Arrow declaration would not have any greater persuasive value than his reasoned judgment on invalidity.

The full article is available here and was first published in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice on 12 January 2017.


For questions about this matter or related issues, please contact our Partner Reuben Jacob (reuben.jacob@maucherjenkins.com).