Press Release 23 March 2024

Gide x Regimbeau – Patent Litigation: holding of the interim conference in the Meril Italy S.r.l. / Edwards case before the Judge-rapporteur of the Paris Central Division (UPC)

On 18 March 2024, pursuant to Rule 105 of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court (RoP), the Judge-rapporteur of the Paris Central Division held the interim conference for the revocation action brought by Meril Italy S.r.l., represented by Gide x Regimbeau – Patent Litigation, against patent EP 3 646 825 (EP 825) owned by Edwards Lifesciences Corporation.

During this interim conference, held by videoconference and to which, exceptionally, the designated Panel was invited to attend (with the prior agreement of the parties given at the start of the conference), the Judge-rapporteur successively summarized the stages of the proceedings to date, identified the main issues in the litigation and asked the parties to clarify their position as regards those issues and facts.

Discussions between the UPC representatives of the parties and the Judge-rapporteur focused in particular on:

  1. Whether Edwards Lifesciences Corporation was ready to reduce or amend the number of alternative sets of claims (auxiliary requests) as included in its application to amend patent EP 825 filed on 16 October 2023 pursuant to Rules 49 and 30 RoP, and whether Meril Italy S.r.l. was prepared to accept that reduction or amendment.

    For the record, Meril Italy S.r.l. raised in the course of the written procedure the non-admissibility of the 84 auxiliary requests filed by Edwards Lifesciences Corporation because it considers that they ignore, in particular, the content and structure requirements listed in Rules 50§2 and 30§1 RoP and, more particularly, that they are not "reasonable in number in the circumstances of the case" in accordance with Rule 30.1, (b), RoP.

    If the parties have not reached an agreement on this matter, they have been invited by the Judge-Rapporteur to explore the possibilities of settling the matter, pursuant to Rule 104(d) RoP, during the interim procedure and in order to facilitate the Court's activity of rendering rapid and high-quality decisions and to avoid possible additional judicial activities and/or postponement of the case.

  2. The parties' interpretation of Rule 340 RoP "Connection Joinder" following Edwards Lifesciences Corporation's request, made before the Munich Local Division, that the present revocation action before the Paris Central Division and the Counterclaims for revocation brought by Meril Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. and Meril GmbH against EP 825 in the infringement action brought by Edwards Lifesciences Corporation be heard together.

    In this respect, the Judge-Rapporteur informed the parties that a communication would be established between the Panel of the Munich Central Division and the Panel of the Paris Central Division before a decision is taken.

  3. The parties' decision on the value of the action in accordance with Rule 370§6 RoP and in application of Rule 104, (i), RoP.

  4. The holding of preparatory discussions with a view to the organization of the oral hearing scheduled for 7 June 2024 (conditions under which the parties may use and present pleadings tools to the Panel, estimated duration of the hearing, allocation of the time for the discussion), for which Meril Italy S.r.l. has requested that it be held on the premises of the International Chamner of the Paris Commercial Court.

From left to right : Emmanuel Baux-Hendrick (Associate, Gide), Ludivine Meissirel (Associate, Gide),
Luca Chevallier (Counsel, Gide), Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier & Emmanuel Larere (Partners, Gide, UPC Representative of Meril Italy S.r.l.)

This entirely dematerialized interim conference has undoubtedly helped the Judge-rapporteur and the parties to clarify certain aspects of the procedure before the oral hearing.

On 22 March 2024, an order was issued by the Judge-rapporteur of the Paris Central Division summarizing the discussions held and decisions taken at the interim conference.

Team :
  • Gide: Emmanuel Larere, Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier, Luca Chevallier, Ludivine Meissirel-Marquot and Carole-Anne Bauer

  • Regimbeau: Jean-Robert Callon de Lamarck, Anne Seibel, Aurélien Grimberg and Julien Guesnier

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