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EPO, Oral Proceedings / NGAL cutoff-patent (I)
By Stengaard On 16. May 2012 · 3 Comments · In BioPorto
As you are all painfully aware of, EPO (European Patent Organisation) held Oral Proceedings on the fate of the courted NGAL cutoff-patent, on Feb. the 8th
Now – after ONLY three months (sic !) the details of the proceedings are made public.
All -the relevant documents can be found here.
It is, however, pretty much as what we have been expecting – NO explanation of the decision of revocation. It looks to me as if BioPorto (Høiberg) decided late in the evening on the first day, that unless OD (Opposition Division) came up with some sort of satisfactory reasoning – as to WHY the request did not meet the requirements article 83 EPC, then it would be futile to amend the request. – I have to say – I agree…
Unless you can be told in what way the OD finds the claims not to be relevant and in accordance with article 83 – how can you change them ? – and – and this is probably the most important argument – if the facts are correct (and BioPorto maintains to this very day that the findings are correct) then there is no reason to change them…. Math is math….
The focus point seems to be: article 83 – that says… : “The European patent application shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art.” we are therefore at the core of the discussion – the scientific data, where BioPorto before the Oral proceedings demonstrated that the OD did not read the findings correctly (and therefor made a erroneous calculation)
In my view it looks as if Høiberg decided that she would not be able to satisfy an OD, that showed no ability to explain why they would see the patent changed (or revoked) and that Høiberg therefore made the right decision to press for a “retrial” at a first instance. Thus there could be no other ruling – bearing in mind that Høiberg had already started that the decision (to revoke) would be appealed.
One can only imagine the discussion…
OD says “CHANGE your claims !”
BioP says “Change what, and why ?
OD says “We don’t know what – but you have to Change”
BioP “Just for the sake of argument – suppose we concede to change – why ?”
OD says “We don’t know why – but you have to Change”
OD says – “Oh, and by the way – you have to do it in 5 minutes – so the Opponents can have 12 hours to rip it to shreads”
BioP ” We give up… nobody can explain what we are to change or why – not even after a whole nights sleep – lets move for a retrial…”
it sort of brings this to mind:
Monty Python: The Spanish Inquisition
BioPorto investor from way back when... I've invested in BioPorto ever since they made their debut on the danish stock exchange, it been a looooong journey with many obstacles. But well worth it all if Bioporto maintains their patent after the proceedings in 2014, and enters into agreements with Global Distributors in 2012 and 2013 If not, then it'll take another xx.years 🙂
- Abbott submissions for the Oral Proceedings. Abbott submission for EPO OD Oral Proceedings News from EPOLINE:...
- Lesliejek on Chat transcript regarding the NGAL distr. Agreement with the Wiener Group. (In danish)
- Patrickciz on Chat transcript regarding the NGAL distr. Agreement with the Wiener Group. (In danish)
- Jameskipse on Chat transcript regarding the NGAL distr. Agreement with the Wiener Group. (In danish)
- Rickiehiela on Chat transcript regarding the NGAL distr. Agreement with the Wiener Group. (In danish)
- James Rolitson on Good Discussion on Bronte Capital’s long thesis on Herbalife
I've taken the liberty of translating Admins commentary – not because he cannot write it himself – but because I believe there are some important points in it…
After the Opponents have persuaded OD, that request 11-12 is not in accordance with article 123(2) – BioPorto accepts – and agrees to delete claim 11/12. This results in Abbott bitching that it is now a new application, and that since it is presented after Deadline – it should be rejected…
But – logically enough – OD accepts the deletion
Next bizarro incident
Høiberg asks OD if they are going to accept the approximately 400 pages that Abbott sent in a mere week before the Oral proceedings. Abbott refers to a definition, that states that the material is given in direct answer to new material (by Bioporto) and within reason
Alere – the infamous sidekick – again emphasize that Abbotts material should be acknowledged as a consequence of Bioportos new application has just been approved, and this was also presented after the curfew. (omitting the fact that this is because they themselves complained about claim 11/12 – where's the logic in that ??)
But OD acknowledges the argument -and accepts the material
Then they have a break- and a mysterious lapse of 6 hours in the minutes. The only mentioning is that all relevant parties had ample opportunity to comment on the infamous article 83 (One skilled in the art…)
OD pauses the meeting 18.15 for 40 minutes, returns with the laconic "the patent does not fulfill article 83"
Astonised (I assume) Høiberg ask for a explanation – but OD explains that they will not give one…
OD instead asks Høiberg if she would care to deliver a new application, which Høiberg accepts to do – but since the meeting has taken all day – and it's around 7 in the evening (my assumption) — and given the fact that the exact wording is of paramount importance – Høiberg would like to have until next morning before delivering. This is unacceptable to Alere – the insist in the changes being made outright – so that they have the whole night to study the new revised application. Again. OD gives in, accept the demands of the Opponents, demanding that BioPorto delivers the revised application instantly (igen…)
Within thirty minutes Høiberg delivers 4 auxiliary request, after which the meeting is adjourned
Next morning, however, BioPorto redraws the 4 applications, stating that they will appeal the decision by OD to revoke the patent. This being based on the fact that OD has given no reasoning for the annullment (it is very bizarre given the nature of the verdict)
Abbott's starts crying and demanding compensation for time spent and lost, which OD of course rejects – cost are to be carried by each part. In all fairness, Detica and Alere did not join the bandwagon when the compensation issue was brought up.
But it sure looks like a vaudeville-show
Hvis jeg må tilføje flere sjove detaljer.
Efter at indsigerne har fået OD med på at request 11 og 12 ikke er i overenstemmelse med 123(2), går Bioporto med til at ændre patentet på den måde at de simpelthen sletter 11 og 12.
Det brokker Abbott sig over, da det derved er en ny ansøgning, og at den er indsendt efter deadline for behandling af sagen?!?
Den går dog ikke, og OD giver den nye ansøgning lov til at gå igennem.
Så kommer der så noget rigtig sjovt.
Høiberg vil vide om OD har tænkt sig at lade de tæt på 400 sider som Abbott sendte ind godt en uge før sagen vil indgå i behandlingen.
Abbott henviser til en definition som Abbott mener fastslår at svaret var givet som et direkte svar på nyt materiale, og var indenfor rimelighedens grænser…
Alere er igen klar med et klasse eksempel, da de mener at Abbotts nye materiale skal godkendes, da Bioporto nye ansøgning (Som de altså lige har afleveret på grund af klager over 11 og 12) også blev godkendt efter deadline…?!?
Men OD køber den, og accepterer det nye materiale.
Så går de til pause, og så er der et lang sort hul i referatet på 6 timer, hvor det eneste som står er at alle parter havde rig mulighed for at kommenterer på det famøse Art 83. (One skilled in the art…)
OD går klokken 18.15 til pause i 40 minutter og kommer ud og siger at patentet ikke opfylder kravene til Art 83.
Forundret, (går jeg ud fra) beder Høiberg om en forklaring, men OD "forklarer" at de ikke vil give nogen forklaring.?!?
OD spørger istedet Høiberg om hun da ikke vil indgive nogen nye ansøgninger, hvilket den køre Susanne da gerne vil, men eftersom at de har været til møde hele dagen, og klokken er syv om aftenen (igen mine egne antagelser) og det er temmelig vigtigt hvad man smider i de her nye ansøgninger, så beder hun om at få til næste morgen. Det klager Alere dog over, og kræver at de skal laves med det samme, så indsigerne har mulighed for at studerer dem over natten. OD giver (igen…) indsigerne ret, og kræver at Bioporto kommer med nogen med det samme.
En halv time senere indgiver Høiberg derfor 4 nye følgekrav, hvorpå at mødet hæves.
Næste morgen møder Bioporto op til mødet og erklærer at de trækker de 4 nye ansøgninger, og de istedet indgiver en anke over OD's beslutning om at ophæve patentet. Det sker da OD ikke har givet nogen grund til hvorfor at patentet ikke kan godkendes, hvilket i sagens natur er temmelig sært.
Abbott begynder at tude og siger at så vil de have erstatning for tabt tid, hvilket de dog ikke får held til.
Retteligt skal det siges at Getica og Alere ikke benyttede muligheden for at springe med på erstatningsvognen, hvilket da giver et lille plus i min bog.
Men hold da fest det lyder til at have været en farce.
Taken from todays discussion on the "minutes" – I'm afraid some of it is in danish…
Guest Tristan 9:21
So, BioPorto did not even try to change/adjust the Patent so that would be acceptable to EPO
Guest Tristan9:22 AM
"Taking into consideration the amendments made by the proprietor of the patent during the opposition proceedings, the patent and the invention to which is relates do not meet the requirements of the Convention."
Still – no explanation as to why – was given…
As I read it, they where going through the patent, discussing alterations. After considering the arguments late the first day, OD finds that the main request does not live up to Article 83 Høiberg asks – why this is not the case,
After all parties have been heard OD decides not to explain or comment on why ;ldet – main request does not fulfill Art 83 EPC.
Stengaard 9:36 AM
ja – one would expect a satisfactory explanation as to why
Guest Tristan9:36 AM
BioP/Høiberg are asked to make new request, and they accept to do so on the following day – Abbott og co.insists that they should be made immediately, so that they can prepare an answer over night. Høiberg draws up; 4 auxiliary
requests and the meeting is paused until the next day. When the meeting is reopened Høiberg redraws the applications , based on the non-explanation by OD
The rest is (unfortunately) history
Guest Tristan 9:47 AM
So – it is still quite difficult to evaluate whether BioPorto was treated unfairly, whether a explanation was justified, and whether or not the Patent is strong
artikle 83 says: The European patent application shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art.
Guest Tristan 9:55 AM
Its very strange that a patent they have approved themselves all of a sudden does not fulfill the fundamentals Unfortunately they (EPO) make the decisons
Guest Tristan 10:00 AM
So – what are they appealing ?Hvad er det egentlig de anker?