By a judgment of Sep 07, 2016, District Court of The Hague (Netherlands) revoked certain claims of the Dutch part of a European patent (EP1379220) held by Boehringer due to a lack of inventive step.
Boehringer is the holder of European patent EP1379220 (“EP 220”) for ‘Inhalation capsules with certain moisture content’, granted on 29 December 2004. Teva initiated the proceedings for annulment of certain claims of EP’220. The District Court in its validity assessment applies the problem/solution approach and states that the closest prior art in the present case is a phase II clinical trial study on a tiotropium formulation contained in capsules for an inhaler.
The District Court concludes that the technical problem is to provide an alternative capsule material for tiotropium to be administered by means of an inhaler and rules that this problem would be solved by the skilled person without inventive step in the light of an article titled “HPMC Capsules – An Alternative to Gelatin”. Thus Teva’s claim for annulment of certain (amended) claims of EP 220 is granted.
EP’220 patent was also litigated in UK, Germany, Norway and court invalidated the claims of said patent in Oct 2015, Jan 2016 and Jun 2016 respectively in those countries.