The English High court has exercised jurisdiction in relation to foreign designations of a European patent. Arnold J gave a lengthy judgment of 376 pages, for which he made no apology, in the action between Actavis and Eli Lilly (Actavis UK Ltd & Ors v Eli Lilly & Company  EWHC 1511 (Pat)). While there were a significant number of issues between the parties, the validity of the patent was not contested.
Actavis, a generic pharmaceutical company, had sought declarations of non-infringement in relation to the UK, French, Italian and Spanish designations of Eli Lilly’s European patent for an anti-cancer drug. The Court, in applying English law, held that they were entitled to such declarations despite the challenge made by Eli Lilly that the English court did not have jurisdiction over the foreign designations.