Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday miscellany: Some items worth reading

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on gene patents isn't the only patent-related item in the news these days.  From around the web, here are a few recent items relating to patent remedies:

1.  Over at PatLit is a write-up on a May 17 decision of the Court of Appeals for England and Wales in Novartis AG v. Hospira UK Ltd., stating the law regarding interim injunctions pending appeal, where the party requesting the injunction was unsuccessful at first instance.

2.  At Patently-O and at Essential Patents are write-ups of the June 14 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Robert Bosch, LLC v. Pylon Mfg. Corp., holding en banc that the court has jurisdiction to entertain appeals from determinations of patent infringement liability, even though a trial on damages and on willfulness has yet to occur.  As I have noted in a previous post, bifurcation is common in many countries, less so in the U.S.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both rules.

3.  At Kluwer IP is a brief discussion of the CJEU's October 25 decision in Folien Fischer AG v. Ritrama SpA.  Fischer (a Swiss company) filed an action in Germany for a negative declaration that its patent licensing practices with respect to Ritrama (an Italian company) did not violate EU competition law.  Ritrama then filed an action in Italy, alleging that Fischer was in violation of E.U. competition law.  The German court dismissed the action for the negative declaration, on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction under Brussels Regulation article 5(3) (relating to actions in tort) where the party seeking the declaration was trying to establish that no tort had actually occurred.  The CJEU reversed, holding that "point (3) of Article 5 of Regulation No 44/2001 must be interpreted as meaning that an action for a negative declaration seeking to establish the absence of liability in tort, delict, or quasi-delict falls within the scope of that provision."  It would seem that this decision disposes of one possible means for fending off so-called torpedo actions, for discussion of which see my book at pp. 250-55.  Page 255 n.156 referenced the then-pending decision in Folien Fischer

And this just in:  Though not directly related to the subject of patent remedies, the U.S. Supreme Court just held in FTC v. Actavis that so-called reverse payments or pay-for-delay settlements of patent infringement actions between brand-name and generic pharmaceutical companies are not presumptively unlawful, but are to be evaluated under antitrust law's rule of reason.  I've written a lot on this issue in the past and will be spending the morning reading the decision, which appears to be 5-3 with Justice Alito recusing himself.    

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