Here We Go Again: Has the European Court of Justice revived the cross-border patent injunction?

Paul Coletti, Associate Patent Counsel, Johnson & Johnson Company, USA

After a brief period of inactivity, the European Court of Justice has revisited the subject of pan-European cross-border injunctions. In Solvay SA v. Honeywell Fluorine Products Europe BV and Others, the ECJ was asked to elaborate on the requirements for granting such injunctions in proceedings on the merits, and to examine whether it is permissible to grant these injunctions in provisional proceedings. After the Advocate General issued an advisory opinion in this matter, the ECJ has now seemingly again opened the door to the possibility of granting such injunctions. After briefly outlining the history cross-border injunctions, this article will examine the requirements for their granting. Then, the Advocate General’s guidance will be considered, and practical suggestions concerning Solvay will be offered. These suggestions will take into account both the law surrounding cross-border injunctions, and broader considerations surrounding patent harmonization in Europe.

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USA Intellectual Property Healthcare December 2012 Vol. 6, No. 21, Autumn 2012

Paul Coletti

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Johnson & Johnson Company

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Johnson & Johnson has been a part of people's lives for 126 years and a valuable part of their investments for more than 65 years. Founded in 1886, we listed our shares on the New York Stock Exchange for public investors in 1944. During our history, we have built the most comprehensive base of health care businesses in the world, generating approximately 70 percent of our revenues from No. 1 or No. 2 global leadership positions in our respective markets. Our consistent performance has enabled us to deliver an exceptional track record of growth that few, if any, companies can claim: 29 consecutive years of adjusted earnings increases; and 50 consecutive years of dividend increases. Over the last 10 years, Johnson & Johnson stock generated a 3.6 percent total return for investors compared to a 2.9 percent total return for the S&P 500.

USA Intellectual Property Healthcare December 2012 Vol. 6, No. 21, Autumn 2012