Ivax Pharmaceuticals UK Limited v Akzo Novel NV

A recent case held in the Patent Court of the Chancery Division sheds light on the complicated issue of patent litigation, particularly regarding jurisdiction.

The claimant, Ivax Pharmaceuticals UK Limited, issued proceedings seeking revocation of a patent which related to the polymorphic form of particles below certain size.

Other patents which related to the steroid were the subject of proceedings in Scotland and a sister company of the claimant was party to one of those actions. Neither party of the instant proceedings were involved in other action. Thereafter, an application was made for a declaration that the Court of Session of Scotland was the most appropriate court to determine the issues by the instant case, this was made pursuant Part 11 of Civil Procedure Code, which states that a defendant who wishes to … argue that the court should not exercise its jurisdiction … may apply to the court for an order declaring that it has no such jurisdiction or should not exercise any jurisdiction which it may have.

The issue, therefore, which arose for determination was whether England or Scotland was the appropriate forum to hear the case.

 The application was dismissed after the Court having to balance the competing factors. Â

In determining the competing factor whether the claim should be heard in Scotland or in England, following points considered by the Court: Â

· Place where the claimant and the defendant were registered companies.

· Place where the claimant and the defendant conducted their business.

· The matter relating the Scottish proceedings and the matter subject of the present proceedings. It was held that the proceedings in Scotland related to different aspects of the steroid’s manufacture and there was no significant overlap in the subject matter at the  centre of the disputes. There was no risk that the courts would reach inconsistent findings of fact. Therefore the judgment in the instant case could not in any way interfere in the Scottish proceedings or condition the Scottish Court in pronouncing sentence.

Accordingly, England was held to be the most appropriate forum, irrespective of the Scottish claim.Â

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