Case study life sciences

Zhejiang Medicines and Health Products

The China-based company Zhejiang Medicines and Health Products Import and Export Co. Ltd. (ZMC) produces pharmaceutical raw materials as well as dietary supplements and distributes them worldwide.

They use a process for the production of vitamin Q10 that became patent-free.

The challenge

ZMC sought out our company for legal representation because a law suit, filed by a Japanese company on the basis of a new patent, had to be addressed quickly. It was important to prevent the infringement proceedings in Düsseldorf, Germany, from forcing ZMC to remove its Q10 products from the German market. Our client also wanted to have the patent of the Japanese plaintiff declared null and void. Since the patent holder had also filed a law suit in the United States, it was necessary to coordinate with the attorneys involved in that litigation as well.

The solution

The cleaning steps that ZMC was using to manufacture the vitamin were different from the procedural steps protected in the patent. We were able to show this with the help of a technical expert. We disputed the infringement of the patent in suit in the court proceedings. On the basis of our evidence, the Regional Court of Düsseldorf held that no infringement had taken place and dismissed the complaint. Wanting to wait for the ruling in the nullity action, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf stayed the appeal that followed. It was possible to show, before the German Federal Patent Court and then the German Federal Court of Justice, that the invention of the Japanese company that is protected by the patent in suit was not novel. As a result, the patent was declared null and void.

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