Invalidating all relevant claims of the patent-in-suit, the
Federal Patent Court of Germany handed down a decision for
Ranbaxy Laboratories' German subsidiary Basics GmbH in its
case against Warner Lambert's European Patent 0,409,281 (EP
'281) owned by Pfizer [Reference-No: 3 Ni 36/05 (EU)].
EP '281 covered an enantiomer calcium salt which has a
positive pharmaceutical effect in the treatment of
hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. Pfizer marketed a
cholesterol-lowering drug under the brand-name
LIPITOR® (sold as "Sortis" in Germany)
covered by EP '281. The Court found that the subject matter
of claims 1 through 3 is not novel due to prior art citations
in U.S. Patent No. 4,681,893 (US '893) as well as in WO
89/07 598 A2 (WO '598). Further, the Court held that claim
4 does not amount to an inventive step in view of U.S. Patent
No. 4,375,475 (US '475) and US '893, as well as a 1987
publication in a scientific journal.
The court based its decision on two prior art documents: WO
'598 and US '893. Although the basic chemical
composition of the enantiomer calcium salt is not mentioned
verbatim in these documents, the court found the
references sufficient to enable a person skilled in the art to
recognize the chemical compound of the enantiomer calcium salt
from the cited documents. The court concluded that claim 1 of
EP '281 lacks novelty. The court further nullified claim 2
of EP '281 because this claim is directed to virtually the
same chemical composition as claim 1.
The court also invalidated claim 3 of EP '281 for lack
of novelty. Claim 3 is directed to the use of the enantiomer
calcium salt recited in claims 1 and 2 for the production of a
pharmacokinetic potent composition for the treatment of
hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. The Court held that
this effect had been mentioned in prior art documents.
Finally, the court invalidated claim 4 of EP '281 due to
a lack of inventive step. Claim 4 is directed to two
alternative production techniques for the pharmaceutical
composition of claim 3. The court opined that the first
alternative production technique had been utilized before and
described in US '475. According to the Court, a person
skilled in the art would have been able to manufacture the
pharmaceutical composition according to this method. The second
alternative production technique was found not to constitute an
inventive step because it results from the cited prior art
Practice Note: This decision is a step of
Ranbaxy's worldwide legal efforts to destroy patent
protection for Pfizer's Lipitor. Therefore, it is not
surprising that Pfizer has appealed this decision to the German
Federal Court of Justice. It can be expected that a final
decision of the German Federal Court of Justice will take up to
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On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the CJEU ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another website does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain.
The chapter on the UK summarises the IP court and litigation system in the UK, recent developments in relation to IP law and practice, the forms and availability of IP protection and trends and outlook in the IP sphere.
The former governing mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, a member of the German Social Democratic Party, SPD, has suffered a legal defeat in his year-plus battle with the German publishing house Axel Springer.
Securing effective legal protection for patents is a high priority for all businesses who seek the quick but safe entry of their new products into the commercial marketplace.
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