Astellas Pharma Inc. v. Synthon B.V., District Court The Hague, The Netherlands, 24 July 2013, Case No. C/09/441842 / KG ZA 13-461
Astellas holds a patent for a sustained release preparation, and claimed that Synthon’s sustained release tamsulosin products infringe upon that patent. The PIL listed inter alia the Dutch entity Synthon B.V. (“Synthon”) as manufacturer of the products. A few months ago, the court ruled on a request to access to the documents which Astellas had seized at Synthon, see here.
Already in the previous seizure case, the parties were in disagreement whether the Synthon products fell within the scope of the claims. In the previous dispute, while not convinced by the arguments of Astellas, the court did grant access to the document as the threshold for granting access to seized documents with respect to the likelihood of infringement was deemed lower than for granting a (preliminary) injunction. Now, still provisionally, ruling on the actual injunction, the claims of Astellas are dismissed. The court is still not convinced by the evidence of Astellas.
The parties' experts were in dispute over the gelation index of the Synthon products. The court ordered hot tub experiments in which the experts of both sides would perform experiments together in one lab. After the experiments, the experts still disagreed about the interpretation of the results. According to the court the interpretation of Synthon's expert is correct. Parties are also in dispute whether one of the ingredients of the Synthon product is an additive in the sense of the patent. Here the court rules that the interpretation of Astellas is not in line with the understanding of the skilled person.
Read the decision (in Dutch) here.
Head note: Paul van Dongen