- Edwards Lifesciences’ heart device misses a beat as Birss J finds infringement of valid Evalve patents (Evalve Inc v Edwards Lifesciences)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
IP analysis: In this unusual case, Birss J had to decide on issues of validity and infringement of Evalve’s two medical device patents used to treat mitral valve regurgitation. If he concluded that Edwards Lifesciences’ (Edwards) own device, PASCAL, infringed, a public policy issue arose in respect of whether an injunction should be granted in circumstances where public health issues were of concern (the public interest case). Although the main judgement on validity/infringement (the first case) runs ostensibly along familiar lines, it is to be considered a further evolutionary step in the development of patent law in the English Patents Court. In particular, Birss J’s approach to obviousness highlights the significance of context in the skilled team’s selection of the starting point prior art for applying the Pozzoli test. In deciding the public interest case, the judge had to consider the balancing act of whether the granting of a blanket injunction (as Evalve would be entitled to) was a remedy that was ‘just and equitable’ and ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’. Written by Paul A. Harris, senior partner, at Venner Shipley LLP.
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