The Hague Court of Appeal ruled on 27 January 2015 to grant an injunction against Sun Pharmaceutical Industries BV in relation to the marketing of zoledronic acid for use in Paget’s disease.
Novartis is the proprietor of EP1296689, which is directed to the use of zoledronic acid for the treatment of osteoporosis, administered intravenously in a unit dosage form of 2-10mg about once a year. Whilst the UK courts revoked this patent for lack of novelty as a result of an invalid priority, the Hague Court of Appeal viewed the priority issue differently. Further, as indicated above, even though Sun was marketing the use of zoledronic acid for the treatment of a condition not claimed in the Novartis patent, the Dutch court granted an injunction to prevent indirect infringement of the patent.
The granting of the injunction is at odds with a further decision recently issued from the UK courts (Warner-Lambert Company, LLC and Actavis Group PTC EHF, Actavis UK Limited, Caduceus Pharma Limited and Highland Health Board), where Arnold did not grant an injunction against Actavis and allowed the marketing of pregabalin for non-patented indications (Epilepsy and Generalised Anxiety Disorder), despite the existence of a patent directed to the use of pregabalin for the treatment of pain.
This shows the lack of consistency between judgements from different European courts and even in connection with common granted European patents.