Abbott v Edwards Lifesciences [2020] EWHC 513 (Pat)

12 March 2020

Richard Meade QC, James Abrahams QC, Michael Conway, and Jennifer Dixon appeared for the claimants in this trial concerning the public interest defence to patent infringement.

The trial followed the main patent trial in the case (1) Evalve Inc (2) Abbott Cardiovascular Systems Inc (3) Abbott Medical Uk Ltd V Edwards Lifesciences Ltd [2020] EWHC 514 (Pat). The defendant (“Edwards”) submitted that even if their PASCAL product was found to infringe a valid claim of one of the claimants’ (“Abbott”) patents, no final injunction should be ordered because to do so would be contrary to the public interest. In particular, Edwards alleged that for certain patients, there were clinicians who would reasonably prefer to use the PASCAL product rather than the MitraClip products protected by Abbott’s patents.

The court found that the relevant public interest sufficient to justify a refusal, at least in part, of a patent injunction, was the need to protect the lives of patients for whom the defendant’s product is the only suitable treatment, when that fact is established by objective evidence. As such, the court granted an injunction on the terms sought by Abbott, where the only carve out would be in the case where their MitraClip product had already been unsuccessful.

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