A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Tenofovir - High Court Decision in France

Those following the tenofovir SPC litigation in Europe will be pleased to hear that the High Court of Paris has recently handed down a decision in relation to Gilead's SPC based on EP0915894.  Denis Schertenleib, who acted for Mylan in these proceedings, has kindly provided a short summary of the case, along with a copy of the decision and an English translation.

"Recently, the High Court of Paris had to opine on the validity of the Gilead SPC on Truvada covering tenofovir and emtricitabine. The SPC was based on the basic patent for tenofovir.  One of its claims covered a combination of tenofovir with another optional therapeutic ingredient.  
In the context of preliminary injunction proceedings, the Presiding judge of the Paris High Court had to decide whether this SPC was likely to be held invalid on the merits. The Court held in a ruling dated 5 September 2017, that the SPC was likely to be invalid.
The reasoning of the Court was based on the finding that the reference to another “therapeutic ingredient” could not be deemed to constitute a functional definition of any compound under the Eli Lilly v HGS doctrine of CJEU case C-493/12. In addition, the Court held that nothing in the description or the prior art could be held to point to Emtricitabine as being this optional therapeutic ingredient. Finally, the Court noted that the combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine could not constitute the core invention of the basic patent under the Actavis v Sanofi doctrine of CJEU case C-443/12. The Court thus held that the SPC was likely to be invalid and that no preliminary injunction could be granted.

The Judgment in French and translated in English can be downloaded here.

The ruling can be appealed and a case on the merits is ongoing.”
Many thanks to Denis for this!

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