Teva v AstraZeneca – Rosuvastatin [2017] EWCA Civ 2135

14 December 2017

Daniel Alexander QC was instructed on the appeal from the judgment of Leggett J, with Alan Maclean QC of Blackstone Chambers for the Appellant (“Teva”) in a case concerning the construction of a settlement agreement relating to the launch of generic rosuvastatin.

The Settlement Agreement provided that Teva agreed not to sell its generic rosuvastatin until after the expiry of AstraZeneca’s SPC, in July 2017. However, AstraZeneca subsequently obtained a paediatric extension for their SPC until December 2017 and argued that Teva was precluded from launch until the later date.

Teva argued that under the Settlement Agreement, they could launch after July 2017.

The Court of Appeal reversed the decision of Leggatt J, who had held that the December date was the right one. The Court of Appeal noted that the paediatric extension was not a new right, but rather a continuation of the SPC, and therefore the explicit date in the settlement agreement was an important consideration. Furthermore, the Court drew attention to the fact that AstraZeneca had gained benefits from the Settlement Agreement, including not having their patent invalidated, over and above just keeping Teva off the market, of which the judge had not taken sufficient account. The earlier date therefore made sense in the context of the agreement as a whole.

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