14 July 2017
Karlsruhe
Reporter: Mark Dugdale

Top German court backs compulsory licence


A German court was right to grant a compulsory licence to a patent for a HIV drug, the country’s Federal Court of Justice has ruled.

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice this week upheld a Federal Patent Court decision to grant an injunction ordering the issuance of a compulsory licence to the European patent protecting the underlying compound in Isentress, an anti-viral that treats HIV.

Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi owns a family of patents to the raltegravir compound in Isentress.

Merck manufactures and sells Isentress in Europe, but has been unable to agree a worldwide licence with Shionogi for its raltegravir patents, prompting the litigation.

The Federal Court of Justice backed the Federal Patent Court’s decision to force through a compulsory licence, as Merck had made sufficient attempts to negotiate a licence.

There was also significant public interest in keeping access to Isentress open in Germany, where it is the only anti-viral containing raltegravir available and is required to meet the needs of certain patients, including infants, pregnant women, and people who have already been prescribed with Isentress.

Compulsory licences are not granted often, in Europe or globally.

Rwanda and Thailand have issued compulsory licences in the past. In 2012, the Indian government granted a compulsory licence to Natco Pharma to manufacture and distribute Nexavar for 3 percent of the cost of the original drug patented by Bayer, although the licence was eventually revoked.

More news
The latest news from IPPro Patents
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Countries should break IP rules to ensure growth, says report
23 February 2018 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Countries such as India and China should break harmonised intellectual property rules to avoid protectionist measures from the US and EU, according to a new report from Gowling WLG
EPO employment proposal halted
22 February 2018 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A proposal to scrap permanent employment contracts at the EPO has been halted and a controversial article within it withdrawn, a source close to the Staff Union of the EPO has confirmed
UPC complaint to be heard in 2018
22 February 2018 | Karlsruhe | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The German Federal Constitutional Court will hear the constitutional complaint against the UPC in 2018
Cabinet Plasseraud promotes four to partner
21 February 2018 | Paris | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Cabinet Plasseraud has appointed for intellectual property attorneys to partner
NPE litigation in Europe sees continued growth
20 February 2018 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
NPE litigation and enforcement in Europe has increased by an average almost 20 percent year-on-year since 2007, according to a new report from Darts-IP
BakerHostetler hires IP partner
19 February 2018 | Los Angeles | Reporter: Barney Dixon
BakerHostetler has hired Troy Schmelzer as partner in its intellectual property group
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton promotes four to partner
16 February 2018 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has promoted four intellectual property attorneys to partner across its Shanghai, San Diego and San Francisco offices