NAPP Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd v Dr Reddy's Laboratories (UK) Ltd & Anor, Court of Appeal - Patents Court, March 07, 2016, [2016] EWHC 493 (Pat)

Resolution Date:March 07, 2016
Issuing Organization:Patents Court
Actores:NAPP Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd v Dr Reddy's Laboratories (UK) Ltd & Anor
 
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Case No: HP2016-00013

Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 493 (Pat)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

CHANCERY DIVISION

PATENTS COURT

The Rolls Building

7 Rolls Buildings,

London, EC4A 1NL

Date: Monday, 7th March, 2016

Before:

MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

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Between:

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MR. JAMES ABRAHAMS Q.C. (instructed by Powell Gilbert LLP) for the Claimant

MR. MICHAEL SILVERLEAF Q.C. and MR. BENET BRANDRETH (instructed by Bird & Bird LLP) for the First Defendant

MR. MARK CHACKSFIELD (instructed by Oswang LLP) appeared for the Second Defendant

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JUDGMENTMR. JUSTICE ARNOLD:

  1. This is an application by, first, Sandoz Ltd and, secondly, Dr Reddy's Laboratories (UK) Ltd for retrospective permission to give short notice of applications that they have made for a preliminary issue to be directed in these patent infringement proceedings.

  2. I do not propose, for the purposes of this judgment, to set out the background to the matter in full. For present purposes, the key aspects of the chronology are as follows. On 15 January 2016 Dr. Reddy's solicitors wrote to the then proprietor of the patents in suit, Euro-Clinique SA, seeking an acknowledgement of non-infringement of proposed seven-day buprenorphine transdermal patches. Shortly thereafter, the patents in suit were transferred to the present claimant, Napp Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd.

  3. Shortly before 9 February 2016, it came to Napp's attention that Sandoz was also proposing to launch a seven-day buprenorphine transdermal patch product. Napp therefore wrote a letter before action to Sandoz on that date. On the next day, 10 February, Sandoz agreed not to launch the product before a certain date. Thereafter, it came to Napp's attention that Sandoz was undertaking pre-launch activities in respect of its product. Accordingly, on 19 February Napp applied for an interim injunction against Sandoz. At around the same time, Nappy also commenced proceedings seeking an interim injunction against Dr Reddy's, although Dr Reddy's was less close to launching its product.

  4. The application against Sandoz came before the court on an urgent basis on 22 February, when undertakings were given by Sandoz. As a result of directions given on that occasion, the application is due to be heard in a window of 14-16 March, that is to say, next week.

  5. Subsequently, there was a directions hearing in respect of Napp's application against Dr Reddy's on 1 March. On that occasion, shortly before the hearing, Sandoz raised the suggestion that there should be a trial of a preliminary issue on infringement. Since the suggestion had only been raised about half-an-hour before the hearing, understandably nobody was in a position to address it on that occasion. The upshot of the hearing on 1 March was that it was directed that Napp's...

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