Natural health and beauty products company, Comvita New Zealand, has succeeded in its appeal against an earlier judgment by UK courts to rule one of its patents invalid.
Apimed Medical Honey (Apimed), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paengaroa-based Comvita, was granted leave by the UK Court of Appeal to appeal the decision made by the English Patents County Court in January 2011 that one of Comvita's UK patents for honey-impregnated wound dressing was invalid.
The Court of Appeal overturned this original ruling and Comvita's patent has been re-instated.
The UK Court of Appeal has also granted a Certificate of Contested Validity, which has the effect of confirming the patent claims were contested in proceedings before a competent court.
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Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said it means the medical grade Manuka honey gel sheet patent has not only been restored, but has survived comprehensive scrutiny by the UK legal system.
"This will now have a considerable deterrent value both in the UK and elsewhere. In addition, there would be cost benefits to Comvita in any subsequent revocation proceedings which might be launched against the patent in the UK or elsewhere," he said.
Apimed and Brightwake Limited (trading as Advancis Medical) settled Apimed's claim for patent infringement in respect of Brightwake's Algivon product last September. This grants Brightwake a sub-licence to manufacture, distribute and sell its Algivon products in the UK, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Japan. This sub-licence does not include the United States or Canada.