Actavis v Novartis [2009] EWHC 41 (Ch)

16 January 2009

The trial, held in July 2008, was about a European Patent for a sustained release formulation of a drug called fluvastatin, a type of statin which reduces blood cholesterol. Actavis sought to revoke the patent on the grounds of obviousness and insufficiency. Novartis did not defend the claims as granted but applied to amend. The main issue in the trial was whether the invention was obvious in light of all the difficulties associated with attempting to make a controlled release formulation. The Judge held that, despite the problems associated with successfully formulating controlled release fluvastatin, the invention was still technically obvious and as such patent was obvious over the common general knowledge but allowed the amendments proposed by Novartis. Mark Chacksfield appeared as junior counsel for Novartis.