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NL – Celltrion v. Biogen / English translation

28 Feb 2018

Celltrion Inc. v. Biogen Inc., District Court The Hague, 21 February 2018, now including an English translation, with thanks to Daan van der Lange, Jan Pot and Boukje van der Maazen, Brinkhof

Biogen holds EP 2055313  that relates to a ‘Treatment of hematologic malignancies associated with circulating tumor cells using chimeric anti-CD20 antibody’. Celltrion instigated invalidity proceedings based on lack of inventive step.

Taking McLaughlin as starting point, the Court assesses the validity of Biogen’s auxiliary request. McLaughlin differs from claim 1 and 3 of this request in the sense that it states a higher dosage of Rituximab. This higher dosage is obvious according to the Court since Maloney applied the same dosage in the treatment of SLL.

Biogen states that there are pointers away in the Jensen publication that would refrain the man skilled in the art from using Rituximab in higher dosages in CLL patients. The Court disagrees. The side effects named in Jensen would only make the man skilled in the art alert to treating these side effects. In conclusion Claim 1 and 3 of the auxiliary request are found to be not inventive. The Dutch part of the patent is revoked.

A copy of the judgment (in Dutch) can be found here.
An English translation of the judgment can be found here.