20 September 2023
Despite the rumors and fears that the life science industry and in particular big pharma will try to steer clear of the UPC and rather stick to national litigation to avoid UPC-wide revocation actions, the UPC has seen a considerable number of biotech and medical devices patent litigations in its first 100 days.
Amgen and Sanofi continue their long-standing battle regarding Alirocumab which is a monoclonal antibody directed against the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) now to the UPC, namely the Munich local and central divisions (case ID: UPC_CFI_1/2023). It started with a battle of who filed first leading to a bifurcation of the central revocation action from the infringement action. In the context of this litigation see also our article on the German Federal Patent Court’s refusal of Sanofi’s request for a compulsory license here.
The Munich local division of the UPC also deals with the preliminary injunction proceedings between 10xGenomics and NanoString Technologies regarding products on RNA detection. The registered proprietors of the patent are the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Following the oral hearing in early September, the Munich local division issued a decision granting the requested injunction based on EP 4 108 782 on 19 September 2023, apparently enforceable without payment of a security. In the parallel preliminary injunction proceedings between the same parties based on parent patent EP 2 794 928, a decision is expected on 10 October 2023.
For the life sciences industry, the message of the first 100 days of the UPC is a very positive one: Against all concerns before the entry into force of the UPC, the case law of the new court will not only be shaped by SEP battles and patent trolls, but is clearly imprinted by life sciences patent litigation.
Congratulations go to the Munich local chamber which seems to be most entrusted for dealing with biotech cases by the UPC community so far.
Finally, it is interesting to note that there is so far no – at least no published – litigation involving classic generic pharma products.
by multiple authors