FR – Novartis v. Johnson & Johnson

Posted: October 27th, 2010

Johnson & Johnson Medical Limited, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc and Ethicon v. Novartis AG, Cour d'Appel of Paris, France, 27 October 2010, Case no. 09/08135

Various decisions were handed down earlier in the worldwide litigation brought by Novartis against Johnson & Johnson about a patent for contact lenses. In a decision of Wednesday 27 October, the Cour d’Appel of Paris affirmed the 25 March 2009 judgment of the Tribunal de Grande Instance (which can be read here). In a nutshell, the Cour d’Appel rejects all Johnson & Johnson arguments of insufficiency and lack of novelty, thereby taking an opposite view to the English Court of Appeal and German Bundespatentgericht.

The patent was granted in 2001, revoked in opposition in 2003 and maintained in its original form by the Technical Board of Appeal 3.4.02 in its decision T 246/04 dated July 12, 2007. In the Netherlands, an injunction was granted against Drogisterij.net (which can be read here). In France, the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris gave a verdict on March 25, 2009, finding validity and infringement and ordering an injunction against J&J (read that decision here). The UK High Court held the patent to be new and inventive, the J&J lenses to be infringing, but the patent invalid on grounds of insufficiency. The Court of Jacksonville in Florida, USA, found the patent valid and J&J's lenses to be infringing. The German Bundespatentgericht judged the patent to be invalid in light of anticipation on December 14, 2009. An English Court of Appeal judgment from 29 September 2010 affirmed the High Court and revoked the patent for insufficiency (read that decision here).  

Read the decision (in French) here.

Read the English translation of the French decision here. (with thanks to Véron & Associés)

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