On 12 June 2023, six workdays into the operation of the new pan-European patent court, the Nordic-Baltic Regional Division of the UPC received its first action. Patent holder Edwards Lifesciences Corporation filed an Infringement Action against defendants Meril Lifesciences PVT Limited (IN), Meril GmbH (DE), Smis International OÜ (ES) and Sormedica UAB (LT) based on the European patent No. 2 628 464 B1 “PROSTHETIC VALVE”. The action was filed at the Stockholm branch of the Regional Division.
The value of the action is EUR 8M, and the court fee amounts to EUR 63K. At this stage of the proceedings, there is no public access to the Statement of Claim. Thus, unfortunately, we cannot report any substantive matters yet.
Noteworthy is that there are parallel opposition proceedings pending before the Boards of Appeal of the EPO between the patent proprietor Edwards Lifesciences Corporation and the opponent Meril GmbH. Here, a first communication was issued by the Board 3.2.01 on 17 May 2023 informing the parties that the request to accelerate the appeal proceedings by the appellant (opponent) was granted. The acceleration request, in turn, was based on already pending infringement proceedings based on the Spanish part of the opposed patent before the Commercial Court number 5 of Barcelona. The decision under appeal concerns the Opposition Division’s decision of 5 May 2022 to reject the opposition against the patent in question.
It will be interesting to see if a revocation action is filed with the UPC in response to the infringement action, and if so, what the outcome of such an action will be as compared to the outcome of the opposition proceedings before the EPO. This is particularly so if the patent in suit would be maintained but its scope of protection limited as a result of the proceedings.
Joakim Wihlsson & Camilla Mörch for EPLIT