Lovells has scored its first UK patent litigation instructions from US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, scooping the lead role on three disputes set to hit the courts in 2009.
Eli Lilly has chosen Lovells to defend it against generic drug manufacturers Hospira, Pliva and ScinoPharm in three separate cases in the High Court.
The cases concern Eli Lilly's cancer drug Gemzar, whose patent the other companies are trying to have revoked. The ScinoPharm and Hospira cases are scheduled to hit the courts in 2009, with Pliva still pending.
Lovells has worked with Eli Lilly in Germany and the Netherlands, but has not been instructed on any of the company's UK patent litigation work until now. IP partner Stephen Bennett is leading the Lovells team, which includes partner Nicholas Macfarlane.
Taylor Wessing is acting for Hospira, instructing Antony Watson QC and Tom Mitchison from 3 New Square. DMH Stallard is acting for ScinoPharm while IP boutique Innovate Legal scored the Pliva mandate. Lovells is using Three New Square members Colin Birss QC and Tom Hinchcliffe.
Eli Lilly is a regular fixture on the patent court list this year as well as next. Howrey IP partner Mark Hodgson is Eli Lilly's main litigator in the UK, taking the client with him from Taylor Wessing when he switched firms a year ago.
Hodgson will defend Eli Lilly in its dispute against drug makers Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Actavis, which will be heard in the High Court in July. The claimants are being advised by Powell Gilbert and Bird & Bird respectively.
Howrey has instructed Three New Square barristers Simon Thorley QC, Andrew Waugh QC, Birss and Miles Copeland for the trial, while Bird & Bird picked 8 New Square's Richard Meade and Powell Gilbert has Henry Carr QC from 11 South Square and Andrew Lykiardopoulos from 8 New Square.