The Paris Local Division – Infringement, Validity, Scope of Revocation Counterclaim

The present decision deals with DexCom's technology, which integrates multiple communication protocols to enhance the functionality of analyte monitoring systems used in diabetes management. Abbott entities launched a “multi-jurisdictional” legal challenge, questioning the novelty and inventiveness of the patent across several European countries.

Jurisdiction and Legal Interpretation
A significant aspect of this case was the UPC's reaffirmation of its jurisdiction to rule comprehensively on European patents, even when parallel proceedings are ongoing in national courts. This underscores the UPC’s role under the unified system, intended to streamline patent litigation across Europe but also raising complex jurisdictional questions. The court's decision reinforced the application of the Brussels I (recast) Regulation, ensuring that the UPC is seen as a court of a member state with the authority to handle cases that have broader implications beyond the borders of any single country.

Technical and Legal Evaluation
The court meticulously analyzed the technical aspects of DexCom's patent, particularly focusing on the use of Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC) protocols in the transmission of medical data. The LD applied the Protocol on the Interpretation of Article 69 EPC, which requires a reading of the claims in conjunction with the description and drawings – equally for the infringement question as well as the revocation counterclaim (which might be of interest for the Enlarged Board of Appeal). 

Decision on Validity
In a detailed examination, the court found that the patent did not satisfy the required inventive step – interestingly without referencing to the EPO’s “problem-solution-approach”.

Our Key Takeaways:

  • Reaffirmation of UPC's Jurisdiction: The case highlighted the UPC's broad jurisdiction, even amidst parallel proceedings in national courts. 
  • Rigorous Technical and Legal Scrutiny: The application of the Protocol on the Interpretation of Article 69 EPC to both infringement and revocation issues is in line with the “established” practice of the Court of Appeal. 
  • Stringent Standards for Patent Validity: The UPC's decision to revoke the patent due to lack of inventive step, without referencing the EPO’s conventional “problem-solution approach,” suggests a potentially differing standard for evaluating inventive step under UPC jurisdiction.