Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd a company existing under the laws of Japan) v UCB Pharma S.A. and others; Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd v UCB BioPharma SPRL (a company existing under the laws of Belgium)

Practice – Strike out. The Patents Court dismissed the defendants' applications for strike out, and/or summary judgment, in respect of disputed paragraphs of the claimant's claim for a declaration that it was not obliged to continue to pay royalties under a licence granted by the first defendant in respect of a United States (US) patent, concerning a drug used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, because the claimant's products allegedly did not fall within the scope of the claims of the patent. The licence contained an English jurisdiction clause, but it was common ground that the proper construction of the claims of the patent was governed by US laws. The court held that it had jurisdiction because the claim was not one which challenged the validity of the patent (that being a question for the US courts), and that the parties had agreed that the scope of the patents, which were the subject of the licence should be determined by the English court. It held, accordingly, that it was not an affront to comity to give effect to that agreement. Further, the court ruled that jurisdiction should not be denied on the basis that the court's adjudication would be contrary to the doctrine of 'act of state'.

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