Parallel importer – the European Pharma Case. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally got round to reviewing this important appeal judgment for parallel importers. I had actually prepared the notes for this article at the beginning of March 2015, however being gratefully inundated with work, I’ve only found the time, on a Saturday in April to finish the job. So here goes! The judgment this article reviews is in the case of – Speciality European Pharma Ltd Claimant/Respondent v. (1) Doncaster Pharmaceutical Comp Ltd (2) Madaus GMBH Defendant/Respondent – Appeal Judgment 06/02/2015. The case concerns the free movement of goods and services within the European Union (EU) and the potential of brand owners to use trade mark law to prohibit imports.
Mark Twain’s characteristically tongue-in-cheek view on life is, “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” In the context of Big Pharma’s attitude to providing access to life-saving drugs, Mark Twain might equally satirically say “don’t go around saying the world owes you life.”
This short article concerns the innovation/access dichotomy between the nature and extent of pharmaceutical protection, and broadly the relationship between Big Pharma; developing nations; and least developing countries (LDCs).
At the outset of discussing the Rihanna passing off case it is important to note that the case of Fenty v. Arcadia  EWHC 2310 (Ch) (the “Rihanna case”) is not a case that is concerned with image rights, but passing off, Mr Justice Birss was at pains to assert this at the outset of his judgment.
High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Intellectual Property, Community Trade Mark
Before: Mr Justice Birss
(1) Hearst Holdings Inc
(2) Fleischer Studios Inc
(1) A.V.E.L.A. Inc
(2) Poeticgem Limited
(3) The Partnership (Trading) Limited
Before: Lord Justice Jackson and Lord Justice Kitchin Between: Claimant/Respondent Microsoft Corporation and Defendant/Appellant Motorola […]