We are pleased to announce the January 2017 issue of Sonderhoff & Einsel IP Newsletter.
The plaintiff, a Swiss pharmaceutical company called Debiopharm, requested an injunction against defendant Towa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (a generic pharmaceutical drug manufacturer) and removal from the market of Towa’s alleged infringing product based on Debiopharm’s extended patent right.
The Tokyo District Court rejected the request for an injunction by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff appealed the court’s decision to the Intellectual Property High Court. The High Court affirmed the District Court’s decision that the effect of the patent right does not extend to the alleged product.
The subject matter of the dispute was “oxaliplatin,” an infusion drug used to fight colon cancer and other related cancers. The plaintiff filed a patent application in 1995 for the drug, and the production and distribution of the drug was started by a Japanese company, Yakult, in 2005. Later, more than ten companies including Towa started selling the generic drug after they had obtained approval from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Towa because the extended patent term had not expired at the time Towa began selling the product.
For details, please check the following PDF.