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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