The life sciences sector continued to dominate the court lists in the UK in Calendar Year 2006. Of the 14 patents in issue in fully contested first instance hearings in the English Patents Court on which judgment was given in 2006 (in 12 actions), 9 were in the life sciences sector (in 6 actions). All but one of these 10 patents was found invalid, and the single one that survived (for a formulation of cyclosporin) was found not to be infringed. In addition the Scottish court with first instance jurisdiction over patent matters, the Court of Session, also heard a pharmaceutical patent action, and also found the two patents in issue invalid:

( see http://www.twobirds.com/english/publications/newsletters/upload/37589_1.pdf )

The table overleaf omits other matters heard by the Patents Court such as interim and procedural applications, entitlement disputes, appeals from the UK Patent Office, and enquiries into damages. Of the pharmaceuticals patents in issue at first instance in 2006 none were for new chemical entities, but they were instead all “second generation” patents such as new formulations (as in the cyclosporine cases) or allegedly new physical forms or purities (as in the Scottish tibolone cases). Of these first instance decisions the judgment in Conor v Angiotech has already, earlier in 2007, been upheld by the Court of Appeal, although in other actions the equivalent patent in The Netherlands has so far survived such attack. Only one appeal in life sciences matter got to the Court of Appeal in 2006 - that in Ranbaxy v Warner Lambert where the court upheld the decision of the Patents Court that the basic patent was infringed, but that the later calcium enantiomer patent was anticipated.