News last update:6 Aug 2012

Danisco unable to delay Novozymes trial on animal feed patent

Danisco lost a bid to delay a United Kingdom trial in its patent battle with Novozymes over a type of enzyme which aids digestion of animal feed.

Danisco, based in Denmark and a unit of DuPont Co, sought to pause the case until the European Patent Office ruled on the dispute.
Novozymes, the world’s largest maker of industrial enzymes, is fighting to defend its animal feed patent in Denmark, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands.
Danisco has sold a product that Denmark-based Novozymes says has infringed the patent since 2007, according to a previous ruling in the case.
The UK Court of Appeal rejected Danisco’s second application to push back the trial, and for permission to use documents from the UK case in the European proceedings.
The European Patent Office, which isn’t part of the European Union but offers the closest protection available to an EU-wide patent, revoked Novozymes’ patent in July.
The decision has been appealed by Novozymes and will be heard by the EPO later this year.
Enzyme coating
Danisco applied to invalidate Novozymes’ patent, EP (UK) 1 804 592, relating to pelleted animal feed containing enzymes to increase digestibility.
There was litigation between the parties concerning the patent and related rights in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the EPO as well as in the UK.
Danisco applied to the Court to stay the UK proceedings pending the outcome of the forthcoming hearing before the Technical Board of Appeal of the EPO and for permission to use certain documents disclosed by Novozymes in the parallel foreign proceedings in the UK action.
On the issue of a stay, the judge held that weighing all the various factors together, the factors favouring refusal of a stay outweighed those favouring the grant of a stay. Consequently, Danisco’s application for a stay was refused.
On the request for permission to use the documents disclosed in foreign proceedings, the judge held that Danisco had not established that there were special circumstances justifying the grant of permission to use the documents from the foreign proceedings and so Danisco’s application was refused.

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