Litige NicOx Vs Nitromed / Merck : épilogue

Pour rappel des faits, il s'agit d'un recours lancé par Nitromed et Merck il y a quelques années, lorsque ceux-ci étaient encore partenaires. Depuis, Merck a stoppé son partenariat avec Nitromed pour signer avec NicOx.

La décision a été rendu il y a quelques jours : le brevet est révoqué.

Quelles sont les conséquences pour NicOx ? Selon les dires de la direction ces dernières années, il n'y a aucun impact à attendre car cela n'affecte pas les développements en cours.
Pour s'en assurer, mieux vaut aussi écouter l'argumentation de l'autre partie.
Après recherche, j'ai trouvé un ancien document de Nitromed expliquant l'impact de la décision : si le brevet n'est pas révoqué, Nitromed serait obligé de demander un accord et d'acheter une licence à Nicox pour produire des composés réduisant la toxicité gastro-intestinale.
Donc pas de nuisance pour Nicox qui ne perd rien dans cette révocation.

For example, we have filed an opposition in the European Patent Office, or EPO, to revoke NicOx S.A.'s European Patent No. 904 110, which we refer to as EP '110. This patent is directed to the use of organic compounds containing a nitrate group or inorganic compounds containing a nitric oxide group to reduce the toxicity caused by certain drugs, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. The basis for our opposition, in part, is that the claims in EP '110 are anticipated and therefore invalid if they are construed to cover a single compound chemically linked to a nitrate. While we believe that the claims in EP '110 will be invalidated, or be narrowed, we cannot predict with certainty the outcome of the opposition. If the EPO finds that there are valid claims in EP '110 that cover compounds chemically linked to nitrates, we may be adversely affected in our ability to market our product candidates for reducing gastrointestinal toxicity without first obtaining a license from NicOx, which may not be available on favorable terms, if at all. We do not know whether NicOx has filed claims of similar scope to the EP '110 patent in the U.S.

If any parties should successfully claim that our creation or use of proprietary technologies infringes upon their intellectual property rights, we might be forced to pay damages, potentially including treble damages, if we are found to have willfully infringed on such parties' patent rights. In addition to any damages we might have to pay, a court could require us to stop the infringing activity or obtain a license on unfavorable terms. Moreover, any legal action against us or our partners claiming damages and seeking to enjoin commercial activities relating to the affected products and processes could, in addition to subjecting us to potential liability for damages, require us or our partners to obtain a license in order to continue to manufacture or market the affected products and processes. Any license required under any patent may not be made available on commercially-acceptable terms, if at all. In addition, some licenses may be non-exclusive, and therefore, our competitors may have access to the same technology licensed to us. If we fail to obtain a required license or are unable to design around a patent, we may be unable to effectively market some of our technology and products, which could limit our ability to generate revenues or achieve profitability and possibly prevent us from generating revenue sufficient to sustain our operations. In addition, a number of our collaborations provide that royalties payable to us for licenses to our intellectual property may be offset by amounts paid by our collaboration partners to third parties who have competing or superior intellectual property positions in the relevant fields, which could result in significant reductions in our revenues from products developed through collaborations.


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