The Patents Court granted Danisco’s application for documents disclosed by Novozymes in the course of the UK action to be used in proceedings elsewhere.
In 2010 Danisco commenced proceedings to revoke Novozymes’ patent, EP (UK) 1 804 592 and in late 2011 Novozymes counterclaimed for infringement. Before the action came to trial, the patent was revoked in proceedings before the EPO. Danisco subsequently applied for permission to deploy documents disclosed in the UK action in proceedings elsewhere in Europe.
The general rule under the Civil Procedure Rules is that disclosed documents can be only be used for the purposes of the proceedings in which they are disclosed unless they are referred to in open court. As the trial had not taken, the disclosed documents had not been referred to open court. However, at an earlier hearing in the dispute, Novozymes had requested an adjournment of the trial and this was granted by the Court on the condition that Danisco would not be prejudiced in litigation elsewhere by not being able to use the disclosed documents which would otherwise have been referred to at the trial.
Given that the permission to use the disclosed documents was the price that Novozymes had paid for the adjournment that it had previously been granted, Mr Justice Floyd gave Danisco permission to use the disclosed proceedings in proceedings elsewhere in Europe regarding the validity and/or infringement of the patent and related rights in the same patent family.
Read the judgment in English here.
Head note: Rob Fitt