Rhodia v Molycorp - Press release

In Anan Kasei v Molycorp [2016] EWHC 1722, on 14 July 2016, Arnold J has handed down an interesting judgment in relation to the boundaries of the ECJ’s decision in GAT v LUK, and the scope of the court’s powers to assist proceedings in another EU member state. He needed to decide important questions on the scope of Article 24(4) of the Brussels I Recast and section 25 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act.

Since GAT v LUK patent lawyers have assumed that if validity was challenged, all jurisdiction over infringement proceedings would be rejected in favour of the state of registration. However, Anan Kasei challenged this, arguing that if declaratory relief was sought relating only to non-validity aspects of infringement, GAT v LUK would not apply. Arnold J rejected this, holding that the “wide” interpretation given to Article 24(4) meant that such a claim would come within the concept of claims “concerned with” the validity of a patent.

In relation to relief sought in support of proceedings in another member state, Arnold J held that an application for sampling was an application for evidence. Consequently, it could not be granted under section 25 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982, because of the exclusion in section 25(7). Further, the wide power in section 37(1) of the Supreme Court Act could not be exercised so as to circumvent the restrictions in section 25(7).

Thomas Raphael QC of 20 Essex Street, together with Thomas Mitcheson QC and Miles Copeland, acted for Anan Kasei.