With the Headquarters Agreement for the Milan seat concluded, we look at the role of the UPC central division

As the Headquarters Agreement for the Milan seat of the Unified Patent Court's central division is signed, confirming that all is in place for the new seat to begin operation this year, we look at the role of the central division in UPC patent actions under the UPC Agreement, UPC Rules of Procedure and as illustrated by early UPC decisions, as well as the composition of central division judicial panels. Read more

Revision of the SPC system in Europe moves a step closer

The European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee has now approved its position on the proposals for a unitary SPC and the recast SPC regulations for medicinal products. The proposals aim to produce a simplified and centralised application procedure for SPCs (currently done nationally in each state) and an SPC for the unitary patent (also to be centrally administered). Read more

Irish referendum on joining the UPC announced for June 2024

The Irish Government's Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced yesterday (23 January) that the Government has approved a proposal to hold a constitutional referendum in June 2024 on Ireland’s participation in the Unified Patent Court. The referendum is to be held alongside the European and local elections. Read more

The UPC – 2023’s achievements and predictions for 2024

Six months into the new European patent and unitary patent litigation system – the Unified Patent Court (UPC) - and the stage has been set for a positive 2024. The UPC is proving popular with patentees bringing infringement actions as well as those parties seeking revocations, but with the balance falling in favour of the infringement actions to a greater extent than many had expected. We give our analysis of the UPC's first six months and our predictions for 2024.  Read more

EPO insight report on mRNA patents reveals a steep increase in patent filing, shedding light on the dynamic future, and past, of this life-saving technology

The European Patent Office (EPO) has published a report revealing that patents for mRNA technologies, which played a pivotal role in mitigating the impact of COVID-19, have increased at an accelerated rate in recent years. The report highlights that this "above average" number of patents reflects "multinational commercialisation strategies" and serves as a proxy for the "high economic expectation" for these life-saving technologies. Read more

Competition law and biosimilars: Time for a new approach or not yet?

Competition law enforcement in the pharmaceutical sector has been vigorous in recent years with regulators focusing on a variety of issues including denigration strategies, lifecycle management patent strategies, pricing rebates, and excessive pricing. In an article recently published in Concurrences, we examine the case law and enforcement practice in this area and apply it to … Read more

It all comes back to construction – long-awaited judgement in UK High Court mirabegron case

On 17 October 2023, Mr Justice Mellor of the UK High Court handed down the long-awaited judgment (some 14 months after trial) in the patent infringement action commenced by Astellas against Teva and Sandoz, in relation to their proposed generic mirabegron tablets, which is used to treat overactive bladder. The action between the parties concerned EP 2,345,410 (EP'410), a modified release formulation patent with a priority date of 2008.  The defendants alleged that the patent was invalid for insufficiency and obviousness, arguing that the claims of EP'410 were excessively broad and exceeded any relevant technical contribution to the art. Read more

The UPC’s first four months

In its first four months of operation, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has accepted over 250 actions and made over 45 orders. These cases span a variety of sectors, including life sciences, consumer goods, and mechanical engineering, and involve parties from the US, India, UK, Switzerland, and UPC participating EU states. Here we take a look at some of the most significant developments and you can register for our briefing for more detailed analysis and coverage. Read more