The French cour d’appel de Paris holds that a preliminary injunction cannot be ordered ex parte unless specific circumstances justify not to hear the defendant in inter partes proceedings.
This is a further case in the valsartan saga (see www.eplawpatentblog.com/eplaw/valsartan)
Novartis AG, holder of European patent EP 0 443 983 which expired on 12 February 2011, was granted a French supplementary protection certificate (SPC) for valsartan on 17 September 1999; this SPC No. 97C0050 was in turn the subject of a paediatric extension, which expired on 13 November 2011.Novartis Pharma holds a licence for this SPC and its paediatric extension; it holds several marketing authorisations for proprietary drugs containing valsartan marketed under the name Tareg or Cotareg.
On the basis of these rights, Novartis had obtained a preliminary injunction against Actavis on 28 January 2011; this preliminary injunction was lifted by the cour d’appel de Paris on 16 September 2011 (judgments of first instance and appeal available on www.frenchpatentcaselaw.info); the judgment of the cour d’appel was eventually quashed by the French Cour de cassation on 15 January 2013, see our earlier post here.
In October 2011, as the expiry date of the paediatric extension (13 November 2011) approached, Novartis was informed that Sanofi was about to launch a generic.