U.K. House of Lords settles in favor of Angiotech for stent patent

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The U.K. House of Lords Wednesday confirmed the validity of one of Angiotech Pharmaceutical’s patents related to its paclitaxel drug-eluting stent inventions.

The patent at issue was granted to Angiotech by the European Patent Office (EPO) June 25, 1997. Five different companies opposed the patent with the EPO. After more than nine years of legal battles, the validity of Angiotech’s patent was maintained with the recent decision, according the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company.

“We are pleased that the House of Lords entered final judgment in Angiotech’s favor and view this outcome as further proof of the continued strength of our paclitaxel stent patent portfolio,” said Bill Hunter, MD, president and CEO of Angiotech.

In 1993, both the U.K. trial court and the U.K. Court of Appeal decided that Angiotech’s patent was invalid in view of several publications. The company appealed to the U.K. lower court decisions to the House of Lords seeking to resolve the issue.

Angiotech said the House of Lords’ unanimous decision brings uniformity to the interpretation of the European Patent Convention among the national courts of Europe and the EPO.

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, England, said that the “decision represents a significant development in U.K. patent law.”