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The English court will exercise jurisdiction over foreign designations of European Patents in cases where validity is not challenged

The Court of Appeal has recently dismissed a jurisdictional challenge brought by Eli Lilly in respect of the non-UK designations of a European Patent.  In reaching their decision, the Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal has recently dismissed a jurisdictional challenge brought by Eli Lilly in respect of the non-UK designations of a European Patent.  In reaching their decision, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the English courts have jurisdiction to hear claims for non-infringement declaratory relief in respect of foreign designations of European patents, provided there is no challenge to the validity of the patent and there is a legitimate basis for the English court to exercise jurisdiction. 

This case confirms that, in cases where validity is not challenged, the English court is willing to exercise jurisdiction over foreign designations of European Patents.  If, after consideration of the laws of each respective foreign designated state the English court determines the Patent is not infringed, it is willing to grant declarations of non-infringement covering those states.  This decision confirms that parties wishing to obtain declarations of non-infringement in a number of national designations of a European Patent can do so more efficiently by consolidating all claims for declaratory relief in one action before the UK Courts.  This case also serves as a cautionary reminder to ensure that when accepting service, it is made clear in respect of (a) which corporate entities and (b) which IP rights. 

For a more detailed discussion of this decision, please click here.

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