Plougmann Vingtoft defends commercially important patent for Bayer

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During oral proceedings before the EPO’s Boards of Appeal on 7 August 2018, Plougmann Vingtoft obtained a major win on behalf of Bayer, which concluded more than 7 years of opposition and appeal (T 2216/12). On the client’s behalf, Plougmann Vingtoft successfully defended the validity of the opposed patent on the basis of an amended version of the claims covering Bayer’s marketed oral contraceptive, QLAIRA® (known as NATAZIA® in the US). The patent was challenged by generic companies from Spain and India. The EPO’s Opposition Division already ruled in favour of Bayer’s patent (EP 1 740 163) at the first instance back in 2012, and the Board of Appeal hence confirmed the correctness of the decision reached by the Opposition Division.

The patent was filed in 2005, and hence ensures European market exclusivity for Bayer’s QLAIRA® contraceptive until 2025. QLAIRA® is the first oral contraceptive approved for heavy menstrual bleeding. In addition, QLAIRA® is also the first approved oral contraceptive based on a natural estrogen (estradiol valerate).

Plougmann Vingtoft successfully represented the client throughout the opposition and appeal proceedings from 2011 until 2018. The Plougmann Vingtoft attorney assisting Bayer was Kim Wagner, who cooperated closely with the client’s in-house patent department.

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