Insulet Corporation v Roche Diabetes Care Ltd

9 July 2021

Jaani Riordan (led by Andrew Waugh QC) acted for the claimant, Insulet, and Michael Tappin QC and James Whyte acted for the defendant, Roche, in this patent trial.  Insulet’s patent was for a device and system for patient infusion, which relates (among other things) to ambulatory insulin pumps for use by sufferers of diabetes.

The claim concerned a line of insulin pumps launched by Roche in 2018, referred to as “Solo” products.  Roche denied infringement and counterclaimed for revocation of the patent.

Giving the judgment of the court, Pat Treacy (sitting as a judge of the Chancery Division) held that while several integers of the relevant patent claims were present in the Solo device there was no infringement on a normal approach because not all integers of claim 1 were present.  The Solo device did not infringe by equivalents because it did not achieve substantially the same results as the invention in the patent in substantially the same way, and because the skilled person would conclude that the patentee intended that strict compliance with the literal meaning of the claim was an essential requirement of the invention.

Roche challenged the validity of the patent for lack of novelty and inventive step, and for added matter both during prosecution and by the unconditional amendments proposed by Insulet.  The Court held that some, but not all, of the claims in issue were anticipated and/or obvious. However, all of the claims in issue were invalid by reason of added matter in the prosecution of the patent (but not by reason of matter added by way of the unconditional amendments).

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