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Synthon B.V. v Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited [2017] EWCA Civ 148

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  21 March 2017


Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC represented the Appellant, “Synthon” in its appeal concerning Teva’s patent for glatiramer acetate (marketed as “Copaxone”).

The Patent related to a method of making glatiramer acetate with limited levels bromine and free metal impurities. Synthon had challenged the validity of the patent on grounds of lack of novelty, obviousness and insufficiency. At first instance the judge had found the patent to be valid with the exception of claim 20 and claims dependant on it, which were held invalid for added matter.

On appeal, the Court upheld the Judge’s finding that the manufacturing process claimed in the Patent was not invalid for obviousness. The Court also dismissed Teva’s cross appeal on added matter: the requirement of clear and unambiguous disclosure could be met by an implicit disclosure, but Floyd LJ was in no doubt the judge had been correct to find that Claim 20 was not clearly and unambiguously disclosed in the application.