Parallel Importer

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.

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Big Pharma – does innovation come at the price of access to life-saving drugs?

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).

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Rihanna passing off

At the outset of discussing the Rihanna passing off case it is important to note that the case of Fenty v. Arcadia [2013] 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.

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