Teva UK Limited v Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH, High Court of England and Wales (Morgan J), London UK, 21 October 2015, Neutral Citation Number:  EWHC 2963 (Pat).
Boehringer Ingelheim’s proposed amendments to claims 5 and 6 of European Patent (UK) 1 379 220 (the “Patent”) for the use of a hydroxypropylmethylcellulose ("HPMC") capsule of a certain moisture content for the delivery of tritropium bromide in a dry inhaler was refused as the amended claims were not inventive. In particular, the specification of certain moisture levels in the claims was arbitrary and could not save the claims where the suggestion to use HPMC capsules was in itself obvious.
The Patent covers capsules to be used in a dry powder inhaler for the purpose of delivering tiotropium bromide to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) or asthma. Teva commenced a revocation action in June 2014 primarily on the basis of lack of inventive step. During the course of proceedings Boehringer applied for permission, pursuant to section 75 of the Patents Act 1977, to unconditionally amend the Patent claims.