Notable IP Cases From 2017

Author:Mr Richard Woulfe, Gerard Kelly and Eimear O'Brien
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran
 
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While several of the Irish decisions did not amount to unprecedented changes to Ireland's IP landscape, they did confirm the approach to be taken on many issues. We review some noteworthy cases from the last year. 

Patents

Gilead Sciences sought an interlocutory injunction application against Teva Pharma and Mylan relating to the launch of a generic version of the well-known HIV drug Truvada. In November 2017, the Commercial Court refused to grant an interlocutory injunction in the context of SPC infringement proceedings. Mr Justice McGovern refused the injunction sought on the basis that, should the defendants ultimately lose at the trial of the action, damages would be an adequate remedy for the plaintiff. The judge placed particular emphasis on the transparency and availability of sales data within the pharmaceutical sector.

This decision confirmed the Irish Court's position that the adequacy of damages as a remedy to the applicant will be a deciding factor in the decision on whether to grant an interlocutory injunction. We acted for Teva Pharmaceuticals in the defence of the injunction application. The SPC infringement action is listed for hearing in April 2018.

Trade Marks

A trade mark infringement action relating to the use of the 'Nutriplete' mark was one of the largest trade mark cases to come before the Commercial Court in 2017. Nutrimedical, the owners of the EU trade mark for 'Nutriplete' issued proceedings against Nualtra Limited for trade mark infringement. The matter was entered into the Commercial Court and involved a number of individual applications including an application to cross-examine the deponent of a discovery affidavit and an application to remove the matter from the Commercial List. Related proceedings were also issued against a number of wholesalers and suppliers. In May 2017, the Commercial Court found in favour of Nutrimedical and awarded a sum in damages. The court analysed the...

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