Latest updates

Do Swedish patent licence agreements last for the life of a patent unless otherwise specified?
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 09 November 2020

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently provided guidance on the term of patent licences in cases where the licence agreement is silent on that point. Patent proprietors that wish to have the opportunity to terminate a licence agreement governed by Swedish law without cause, or to have a shorter term than for the life of the patent, must be careful to include language to that effect in the contract.

Is Swedish market for CBD oils closed?
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 21 October 2020

In 2019 the Administrative Court prohibited several companies from selling products containing CBD. The decisions were essentially based on the finding that the use of 'CBD' in the products' names amounted to a statement which presented them as having properties which treated medical conditions. Following these decisions, the Swedish Medical Products Agency seems to have widened the definition of 'medicinal products' when it prohibited two companies from selling oils which contain CBD.

Joint handling of patent infringement claims and contractual claims in Swedish IP courts
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 21 September 2020

In the Swedish legal system, the specialist IP courts handle patent infringement claims, while the general courts handle contractual claims. But such different claims can be combined and handled jointly by the specialist courts under certain circumstances. In a recent case, the Supreme Court clarified under which circumstances patent claims and such civil claims can be combined and handled jointly.

Objective necessity to rebox in parallel trade and implementation of EU Falsified Medicines Regulation
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 16 September 2020

In a recent case, the Patent and Market Court (PMC) elaborated on the concept of objective necessity to rebox medicinal products subject to parallel distribution in light of the implementation of the EU Falsified Medicines Regulation. The PMC's decision is a significant victory for originators, as it confirms that relabelling is still the main rule in Sweden and that reboxing remains the exception and requires evidentiary support of objective necessity by the parallel trader.

Objective necessity to rebox in parallel trade and implementation of EU Falsified Medicines Regulation
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 14 September 2020

In a recent case, the Patent and Market Court (PMC) elaborated on the concept of objective necessity to rebox medicinal products subject to parallel distribution in light of the implementation of the EU Falsified Medicines Regulation. The PMC's decision is a significant victory for originators, as it confirms that relabelling is still the main rule in Sweden and that reboxing remains the exception and requires evidentiary support of objective necessity by the parallel trader.

Dynamic blocking injunction against ISPs
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 27 July 2020

In a groundbreaking case for copyright holders and internet service providers in Sweden, the Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently declared, for the first time, that dynamic blocking injunctions are in line with Swedish legislation. Unlike regular static blocking injunctions that cover only a specific infringement by a specific infringer, dynamic blocking injunctions also cover other infringements and possibly those by other infringers.

Biosimilars still not subject to mandatory substitution
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 08 April 2020

Both the Medical Products Agency and the Dental and Benefits Agency (the authority which decides on reimbursement) have long held the position that biosimilars are not interchangeable or substitutable with their reference products, which has been reiterated in different policy papers since 2007. This position has now been supported by an administrative court of appeal in a case relating to glatiramer acetate products used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Supreme Court rules on balancing of copyright and fundamental rights
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 06 April 2020

A landmark Supreme Court judgment has closed the book on the widely known 'iron pipe scandal'. The court confirmed that fundamental rights such as freedom of the press, no matter how fundamental, do not justify the use of copyrighted materials outside the scope of the existing exceptions and limitations as set out in the Copyright Act and the EU InfoSoc Directive.

Marketing authorisation holder lacks standing to challenge off-label prescription for unlicensed products
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 11 December 2019

The Swedish system for medicinal products is generally product based. Prescriptions as such are product based (ie, by brand name or generic product name) and the indication for which the product is intended cannot be filled in anywhere by the prescriber. Off-label prescriptions are therefore not generally possible in the 'official' prescription system. However, when it comes to accessing unlicensed medicinal products, the system for licences on a named-patient basis works differently.

Blocking injunctions – proportionality and right of access to information
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 04 November 2019

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently ordered several internet service providers to take blocking measures against Sci-Hub and LibGen. The case is interesting in light of the court's 2019 decision in a similar case on interim blocking measures in which it denied blocking injunctions due to a lack of proportionality and issued stern words about the evidence invoked by the claimant and the risk of overblocking legitimate content.

Heavily discounted starter pack considered unethical grant to healthcare
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 30 October 2019

The Committee for the Review of Pharmaceutical Information recently confirmed the strict approach to the marketing of medicinal products in relation to pricing. The committee's findings serve as a reminder that companies should consider not only the intended purpose of offering a discount on a product, but also its actual effects. The case under review illustrates that an intended discount on a product may be considered contrary to the Ethical Rules for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Cannabis causes confusion in Sweden
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 14 August 2019

The Supreme Court has ruled that cannabidiol (CBD) oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which originates from legally cultivated hemp constitute illegal narcotics. The court argued that since CBD oil can be defined as a preparation in accordance with the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and contains THC, it is an illegal substance. This decision is likely to affect several aspects of Swedish healthcare regulation, including that relating to medicinal products.

One small step for alcoholic beverage marketers, one giant leap for wine critics
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Product Regulation & Liability
  • Sweden
  • 06 June 2019

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently assessed the use of quotations from wine reviews in ads and found the terms 'bargain' and 'recommended' and the phrase 'an excellent alternative for the big party' acceptable under the applicable Swedish and EU law. This ruling marks a small but significant shift in the strict Swedish jurisprudence on the subject and may give market actors a reason to pop a celebratory bottle.

Watch out! Patent and Market Court of Appeal finds watch protected by copyright
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 27 May 2019

For the first time, the Patent and Market Court of Appeal has confirmed that a watch can be protected by copyright as a work of applied art, even in a crowded design field. The decision enables rights holders to not only pursue counterfeits on the basis of trademark infringement, but also to prosecute copycat watch models on the basis of copyright protection in physical and digital environments.

Preliminary injunction denied in Swedish darunavir SPC proceedings
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 11 March 2019

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently handed down a preliminary injunction ruling in Sandoz v GD Searle LLC relating to the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) for darunavir. The ruling clarifies that SPCs enjoy a validity presumption for the purpose of a preliminary injunction ruling in the same way that patents do. However, in the instant proceedings, the court found that Sandoz, against which the lower court had issued a preliminary injunction, had managed to rebut the presumption.

Trilogue negotiations: originator company compensation for parallel imported products
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 27 February 2019

The Stockholm Administrative Court recently ruled that under the so-called 'trilogue negotiations' between pharmaceutical companies, the Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency and the Swedish regions could require an originator company to compensate them for products marketed by parallel importers.

Calculating copyright infringement damages using hypothetical licence fees
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 11 February 2019

The Supreme Court recently rejected the application of a hypothetical licence fee to calculate reasonable compensation for massive copyright infringement through the operation of an illegal streaming site. This decision raises several interesting questions, including to what extent an infringer's illegal business model should be taken into account when calculating reasonable compensation.

No infringement where software backups are passively stored
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 24 December 2018

The Supreme Court recently declared that the mere passive storage of backups of copyrighted software with expired licences does not constitute copyright infringement. The judgment is significant as it clarifies which actions constitute copyright infringement and, from a practical perspective, relieves licensees from having to mine their backup servers in pursuit of potential 'sleeper' infringements.

Patent and Market Court rules on global retransmissions of TV broadcasts
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 22 October 2018

On the ever-growing market for streaming services and online access to TV broadcasts, illegal services are common and sometimes difficult to shut down due to their technical complexity and the multi-jurisdictional scope of the infringing activities. The Patent and Market Court recently held three persons liable for global retransmissions of TV broadcasts, sentencing them to prison and awarding rights holders significant compensation for damages.

Judgment on public procurement puts parallel importers at a disadvantage
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 17 October 2018

The Stockholm Administrative Court recently ruled that the obligation on tenderers of public procurements of medicinal products to have routines which ensure that the use and handling of active ingredients would have as little effect on the environment as possible, as well as the obligation that they routinely survey and have dialogue with their subcontractors, were permissible. The decision has been appealed to the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm, which has yet to make a decision.