Tag: Litigation

1
Pendulum Swings in Favour of Generic/Biosimilar Companies at Interlocutory Stage in AU
2
High Court of Australia Finds Claims for Isolated Genetic Material not Patentable Subject Matter
3
Louboutin Succeeds Again in Long Standing European Union Trade Mark Opposition Over Red Sole
4
BPCIA: A “Choose Your Own Adventure” Statute?
5
Tamawood v Habitare: a Recent Australian Decision on Copyright Infringement in Building Designs
6
The Protection of ‘Weak’ Trademarks Having Acquired Secondary Meaning
7
Australian ISPs Ordered to Hand Over Customer Details in P2P Copyright Action
8
After Nine Year Battle, Appeals Court Upholds US$540,000 Award to Sculptor for Use of Memorial Images on U.S. Postage Stamp
9
Australia’s Very Exclusive Patent Licensee Club
10
Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Sandoz’s BPCIA-Related Declaratory Judgment Action Regarding Enbrel® Patents, but Declines to Address BPCIA Interpretation

Pendulum Swings in Favour of Generic/Biosimilar Companies at Interlocutory Stage in AU

By Naomi Pearce

FCA Confirms Commonwealth may Claim Relief Under “Usual Undertakings as to Damages”

The much anticipated Court of Appeal decision in Commonwealth of Australia v Sanofi ¹ was handed down on Monday.  The decision is a win for the Commonwealth, and for generic/biosimilar companies in Australia, and (if upheld in any appeal) will result in Sponsors adopting a more circumspect approach to seeking interlocutory injunctions for patent infringement in Australia.

Except where a generic/biosimilar applicant has “cleared the way” (cleared any patent impediments to launch through the Courts in Australia) or all relevant patents have expired, interlocutory injunctions are routinely sought by the Sponsor, and are routinely granted.

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High Court of Australia Finds Claims for Isolated Genetic Material not Patentable Subject Matter

On 7 October 2015, the High Court of Australia (High Court) issued its decision[1] in the long running dispute concerning Myriad Genetics, Inc.’s (Myriad) patent relating to an isolated nucleic acid coding for mutant or polymorphic BRCA1 polypeptide. Mutations in the BRCA1 gene can serve as indicators of a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

In a unanimous decision, the High Court found that claims directed to the isolated nucleic acid are invalid on the basis that they are not a ‘manner of manufacture’ and therefore not patentable subject matter. The High Court took the view that the claimed invention would extend the scope of the concept of “manner of manufacture” and that this was not something which was appropriate for courts to do. In light of the High Court’s decision, it will be interesting to see whether there is a legislative response to this issue.

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Louboutin Succeeds Again in Long Standing European Union Trade Mark Opposition Over Red Sole

Christian Louboutin (Louboutin) has again been successful in a long running opposition proceeding filed by Roland SE (Roland) against its red sole trade mark in the European Union.

Louboutin has faced legal challenges around the world in registering and enforcing its signature red sole on its shoes.  In 2010, Louboutin filed a Community Trade Mark application for the below trade mark in class 25 for “high-heeled shoes (except orthopaedic footwear)” (Louboutin Mark):
shoe

 

(Louboutin Mark)

 

 

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BPCIA: A “Choose Your Own Adventure” Statute?

On June 3, 2015, the Federal Circuit heard oral argument on Amgen Inc.’s (“Amgen”) appeal of the Northern District of California’s decision holding that the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act’s (“BPCIA’s”) “patent dance” provisions are optional, and that the 180-day notice provision does not require licensure in Amgen, Inc., et al. v. Sandoz, Inc., et al., Case No. 14-cv-04741-RS (N.D. Cal. March 19, 2015).

To read the full alert, click here.

Tamawood v Habitare: a Recent Australian Decision on Copyright Infringement in Building Designs

Earlier this week the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (Full Court) delivered its judgment in the case of Tamawood v Habitare Developments, a copyright infringement case in respect of project home designs.

Habitare Developments had engaged designer/builder Tamawood to create designs for project homes for a new development. However, due to a falling out between the parties, Habitare Developments ultimately engaged architects Mondo to create the final plans for the development and engaged another builder to construct the houses. Tamawood commenced proceedings against all parties for copyright infringement. The respondents denied that Tamawood’s designs had been used as a starting point and that copyright had been infringed.

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The Protection of ‘Weak’ Trademarks Having Acquired Secondary Meaning

On February 2, 2015, (judgment no. 1861) the Italian Supreme Court ruled on a case involving two Italian companies active in the sector of furniture: Natuzzi S.p.A., owner of the Italian and European trademark ‘Divani & Divani’ (Trademark 1), and Divini & Divani S.r.l. (Divini & Divani), which started to use the trademark ‘Divini & Divani’ (Trademark 2).

Natuzzi claimed that the use of Trademark 2 was illegitimate, constituted an act of unfair competition as well as trademark infringement claiming the use generated confusion amongst customers. In particular, Natuzzi stated that, even if Trademark 1 was composed by two common words (literally in English ‘Sofas & Sofas’), it acquired specific distinctiveness. Consequently, Natuzzi sought to prevent Divini & Divani from using Trademark 2 as a company name and a trademark for its products. Divini & Divani counterclaimed that Natuzzi’s requests were groundless because there could not be any confusion between the trademarks and, in any case, Trademark 1 was weak and consequently, not worthy of protection.

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Australian ISPs Ordered to Hand Over Customer Details in P2P Copyright Action

Dallas Buyers Club LLC v iiNet Limited [2015] FCA 317

In November 2014, IP Law Watch reported on attempts by the rights holder of the film Dallas Buyers Club to compel Australian ISPs to disclose the identities of BitTorrent users who allegedly shared copies of the film.

On 7 April 2015, Justice Perram of the Federal Court of Australia ruled in favour of Dallas Buyers Club LLC and Voltage Pictures LLC, ordering six ISPs to disclose the details of 4,726 customers.

The judgment has been widely reported in the Australian media as a landmark decision and a game changer in the battle regarding online piracy.  In fact, the kind of order granted by Justice Perram is far from revolutionary.  For many years, civil procedure rules at both state and federal levels have enabled a party to seek orders requiring a third party to produce documents or give evidence as to the identity of a prospective respondent.  There are decisions going back as far as the 1970s in which this kind of preliminary discovery order has been granted (see for example Exley v Wyong Shire Council (10 December 1976, Master Allen, unreported) and Stewart v Miller [1979] 2 NSWLR 128).

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After Nine Year Battle, Appeals Court Upholds US$540,000 Award to Sculptor for Use of Memorial Images on U.S. Postage Stamp

A long litigation battle by sculptor Frank Gaylord against the U.S. government has resulted in the confirmation of an award of more than US$540,000. In 1990, Mr. Gaylord won a competition to work on a federal memorial to veterans of the Korean War (Memorial), which had been authorized by the U.S. Congress. Ultimately, the Memorial comprised 19 stainless steel statues, designed to represent a platoon of soldiers in formation on the ground. The Memorial was completed, installed, and opened to the public in Washington, DC, in 1995. Mr. Gaylord filed a number of copyright registrations, covering the various statues. Read More

Australia’s Very Exclusive Patent Licensee Club

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v Apotex Pty Ltd [2015] FCAFC 2

The Full Federal Court of Australia (Court) has held that an ‘exclusive licensee’ within the definition of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act), must be granted the exclusive right to undertake ALL of the activities falling within the meaning of “exploit”. Accordingly, a grant of a licence to advertise, market, promote, sell and distribute, but not manufacture, does not create an “exclusive licensee”, as defined in the Patents Act. There can only be one exclusive licensee and the patentee cannot reserve any of the exclusive rights to exploit to itself. Read More

Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Sandoz’s BPCIA-Related Declaratory Judgment Action Regarding Enbrel® Patents, but Declines to Address BPCIA Interpretation

The biologics industry has been eagerly awaiting the Federal Circuit’s ruling on Sandoz Inc.’s (“Sandoz”) appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s dismissal of its declaratory judgment action due to lack of Article III jurisdiction. In particular, the industry has been waiting to see whether the Federal Circuit would uphold the district court’s ruling that Sandoz’s lawsuit was barred by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”). Unfortunately, the Federal Circuit declined to address the district court’s interpretation of the BPCIA, providing no further guidance on the topic. Instead, the Federal Circuit simply affirmed the district court’s ruling that there was no subject matter jurisdiction, relying on Hatch-Waxman generic drug cases as precedent.

To read the full alert, click here.

 

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