Legal Updates

A patent holder who uses the protection for the purpose of harming the public and the public good is prevented from claiming its rights in the patent

March 15, 2022

Pfizer who holds the Viagra drug patents demanded that a company manufacturing generic medications cease distributing a competing drug as it infringes on its patents.

The Supreme Court held that Pfizer did not misuse its patent and therefore its claims for infringement of its patent should be examined and reverted the case to the District Court to decide on the merits. The principle of patent abuse is a legal principle developed in the United States according to which if a patent holder abuses its right in a patent to unfairly prevent competition, it is prevented from claiming its rights under that patent. In Israel, the principle is reflected in the legal principle of " compulsory license" under which the Patent Registrar may compel a patent holder to grant a third party a license to use the patent in cases where the patent owner abuses the monopoly granted to it by the patent protection. Taking advantage of the monopoly can occur in cases where the patent owner does not provide the full demand for the product under reasonable conditions or if the patent owner sets unreasonable conditions for the supply of the product that are not deemed to be in the public best interest. Here, the contentions of infringement of the patents do not amount to patent abuse and there is no indication that Pfizer used exploitive commercial practices in the course of patent ownership to restrict product use and therefore. Thus, there is no justification to prevent it from pursuing claims of infringement of its patents.