Attempt to remove party from proceedings fails

This unusual application in Teva Pharma BV & Anor v Amgen Inc & Anor [2013] EWHC 3711 (Pat) related to proceedings to revoke a European patent and a declaration that a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) based upon it (for lipegfilgrastim) would not be valid. The proceedings were issued against the company listed as proprietor on the patents register (D1), even though that company had assigned the patent (without the claimant knowing) to a related company (D2) a few weeks earlier. D1 and D2 subsequently applied for an order that D1 should cease to be a party to proceedings commenced by the claimant.

The claimant believed that D1 had damaging documents in its possession and that the motive for the assignment had been a tactical one to avoid D1 having to give disclosure. The court had to decide whether it was ‘desirable’ within the meaning of CPR 19.2(3) for D1 to cease to be a party…

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