Cook Biotech Incorporated v. Edwards Lifesciences AG, High Court of Justice, Court of Appeal, London, UK, 28 June 2010,  EWCA Civ 718
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against the decision of Kitchin J at first instance, finding the European Patent (UK) 1 255 510 (“the Patent”) invalid.
The Court of Appeal held that the first instance judge had been correct to hold the Patent invalid for obviousness:
i) the argument that the Patent was directed to an interventional cardiologist, and so should be read with the limited knowledge, functions and expectations of such a person, was fundamentally flawed. The Patent and the Andersen prior art patent were notionally addressed at the relevant time not just to an interventional cardiologist but to a team which included or would have consulted a cardiac surgeon and someone familiar with the design of implantable surgical heart valves. They would have pooled their joint knowledge and experience when interpreting the Patent and Andersen;
ii) it is artificial, and counter-intuitive, to seek to make a clear division between the stent and the valve within it on the basis of functionality;
iii) Andersen reinforces the concept of a single stent, without meaningful differentiation according to the different functions it was performing;
iv) the appellant was wrong on the evidence to argue that part of the device had a function for which the interventional cardiologist was not responsible;
v) the minimum 1mm requirement in claims 15 and 22 was arbitrary, and merely there as a reflection of the obvious general need to secure and strengthen the edges of the valve and to prevent tearing.