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Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. together with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Università degli Studi di Cagliari and L’Université Montpellier II were the proprietors of Norwegian patent NO 330 755. The patent was directed to certain nucleoside analogues with anti-viral activity. Amongst the compounds covered by NO 330 755 was sofosbuvir which is the active ingredient in Gilead’s medicinal product Sovaldi.

A revocation action against NO 330 755 was filed by Gilead 28 September 2012. By its judgment 21 March 2014 the Oslo District Court revoked the patent on the basis of insufficiency.

The Borgarting Court of Appeal upheld the decision from the Oslo District Court. The appeal court agreed with the District Court that the patent was insufficient as the specification of the patent did not sufficiently disclose how to make the claimed compounds. Furthermore, the Court of Appeal stated that in any event the patent would be invalid as the specification neither made it plausible at the priority date that the compounds in question had the claimed anti-viral activity.

The equivalent European patent to NO 330 755 has also been the subject of parallel revocation actions, for example Gilead v. Idenix [2014] EWHC 3916 (Pat) reported here.

Read the judgment (in English) here.
Read the judgment (in Norwegian) here.

Headnote: Lars Erik Steinkjer, Wikborg, Rein & Co.