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Toronto advised Gilead Sciences before the Supreme Court of Canada

April 26, 2018 Client: Gilead Sciences Inc.

Our Toronto office and Belmore Neidrauer LLP have successfully defended Gilead Sciences Inc. before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada has DISMISSED Idenix’s leave application in respect of complex global litigation between Gilead and Idenix pertaining to Gilead’s blockbuster Hepatitis C drug, sofosbuvir. Gilead has now officially won at all levels of court in Canada.

Prior to our success, the team acted for Gilead in a Federal Court litigation against Idenix (now owned by Merck) to invalidate a patent owned by Idenix for compounds that were claimed to be useful for the treatment of Hepatitis C. Idenix defended these allegations and filed a counterclaim to impeach a patent owned by Gilead and claim for infringement of the Idenix patent (bifurcated).

The trial judge found in favour of Gilead and found Idenix’s patent invalid, upholding the validity of Gilead’s patent. The appeal was argued before the Federal Court of Appeal in January 2017. In July 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal likewise ruled in favour of Gilead. This highly complex case was of importance in Canada and globally. 

Gilead initiated the underlying invalidity action against Idenix based on a belief that the manufacture, use or sale in Canada of sofosbuvir (marketed in Canada as SOVALDI®)  for treatment of Hepatitis C (HCV) would be impugned by Idenix as an infringement of the patent. Idenix counterclaimed, and claimed that Gilead’s sale of sofosbuvir in Canada constituted infringement of its patent. Idenix also sought to invalidate a Gilead owned patent on the basis that it was not novel in light of the Idenix patent at issue in the action.

Our team was led by Jordana Sanft and included Amy Grenon, Adam Haller, Jillian Hyslop and Christian Landeta.