We are delighted to have been awarded TMT Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2018. The award recognises the team’s victory in the landmark Actavis v Eli Lilly Supreme Court case, which found that Actavis’ products infringed Lilly’s patents in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
The award follows feedback gathered from an expert judging panel, comprising senior in-house counsel from a range of industries and supplements our MIP UK Impact Case of the Year award which also recognises the team’s success in this case.
Lilly’s patent concerns the safe and effective use of a cancer drug, pemetrexed, in co-therapy with vitamin B12. Actavis’ proposed products differed only in relation to the salt form of the pemetrexed. Actavis sought declarations of non-infringement in relation to the UK, French, German, Italian and Spanish patents in the UK courts.
Actavis removed the German patent from the UK litigation in 2014 after the Düsseldorf Court found that it would be infringed by Actavis. In the UK High Court, Mr Justice Arnold held that the remaining patents were not infringed and granted declarations of non-infringement to Actavis.
On appeal, the Court of Appeal refused to grant the declarations sought by Actavis on the grounds that Actavis’ proposed products would indirectly infringe Lilly’s patent. However, the Court of Appeal found that the patent would not be directly infringed.
As well as overturning the Court of Appeal’s decision on direct infringement, the Supreme Court has upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision on indirect infringement – that is Actavis’ appeal was unsuccessful.