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Actavis -v- Merck [2008] EWCA Civ 444

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  21 May 2008


Peter Prescott QC was leading counsel in the landmark case of Actavis v. Merck which aligned UK practice as regards Swiss-claims with that of the EPO. He persuaded the Court of Appeal to establish a new exception to the long-standing rule in Young v. Bristol Aeroplane (that a later court of appeal is bound by the decision of an earlier court of appeal) so as to conform with a settled interpretation given by the Boards of Appeal of the EPO. The judgment enabled Merck to obtain otherwise excluded patent protection for a Swiss-style claim for a dosage form of finasteride. The appeal was heard during March 2008.