Archives for: ‘Kim O’Connell’
A multi-million dollar settlement was reached this week for Lynette Rowe, the lead plaintiff in a landmark class action against manufacturers and distributors of the drug thalidomide.
In 2010 the full court of the Federal Court of Australia overturned a damages award in the VIOXX class action. The decision confirmed the traditional approach to issues of causation – the defendant’s act or omission must be a necessary condition of the plaintiff’s injury (the ‘but for’ test). It also illustrated that causation is no less difficult to prove in large-scale class actions than in individual proceedings.
On 15 May 2012 the High Court refused special leave to appeal from the decision of the Full Federal Court to refuse to award damages in the Vioxx class action. The representative applicant alleged that arthritis drug Vioxx caused his heart attack, but the courts disagreed. After the High Court’s decision, the traditional approach to issues of causation stands (the “but for” test). That said, the Chief Justice’s remarks in refusing special leave open the possibility that the High Court might relax the requirements of causation if it is given the right set of facts.
In a rare moment of consensus in Europe, last week EU member states agreed to create a Unitary Patent Central Court accompanied by two sector specific Courts.
Paris will host the central division of the unitary patent court, while mechanical engineering cases will be heard in Munich and chemistry and human necessities (including pharmaceutical cases) will be heard in London.
Fashionistas challenge Louboutin’s sole rights to red sole shoe – Louboutin asserts its claim to red is not yet dead
Last week the French Court of Appeal ruled that Zara could continue to sell shoes with red soles without infringing Louboutin’s “Red Sole Trade Mark”. Louboutin, famous for its red soled shoes, has engaged in an aggressive trade mark enforcement strategy in recent years, commencing proceedings against a range of fashion brands that have adopted the red sole look.
In what was a busy year for patent law in Australia, 2011 saw the Full Federal Court overturning an interlocutory injunction in the much publicised Apple v Samsung saga (relating to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1) while the Federal Court was busy handing down a number of other important decisions on infringement – including authorisation and indirect infringement, and invalidity – with significant developments in novelty and ‘whole of contents’ documents, as well as fair basis.
The debate on the patenting of genes has resurfaced with plans to introduce a new private members’ bill banning the patenting of genetic materials. Despite one of the purposes of the recently enacted Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 (Cth) being to increase medical researchers’ access to patented genetic materials, some parliamentarians, in particular Labor back bencher Melissa Parke, consider that the Raising the Bar amendments do not go far enough.
High Court refuses application for special leave to appeal Full Court finding that extended release venlafaxine patent invalid
On Friday, Justices Gummow, Hayne and Keiffel refused an application for Special Leave to appeal to the High Court a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court which found that Wyeth’s patent relating to a method of treatment using an extended release formulation of the anti-depressant venlafaxine was invalid for lack of fair basis on the specification as filed, and on the ground that that the claims were not fairly based on an earlier US priority document.
King & Wood Mallesons acted for Alphapharm in opposing the application for special leave.