Case Law: A Review of Selected Pharmaceutical Patents in the UK Courts during 2021


Patents lie at the interface between technology and law.  This review provides a summary of four high-profile cases from 2021 in which patents in the pharmaceutical or medical space were litigated in the UK Courts.  The first case is a dispute between Teva and Bayer in relation to a patent for a formulation of Teva’s cancer drug, sorafenib tosylate.  The second case relates to Alcon’s patent for their glaucoma drug, Travoprost, and the alleged infringement of this patent by a number of generics companies. The third case concerns the validity of several patents belonging to Illuminarelating to labeled modified nucleotides and their use in DNA sequencing methods.  The final case relates to a patent for Insulet’s OmniPod® device, the first tubeless insulin pump.  The article aims to focus on the technology behind the patents and to provide insight into how science interacts with the law in the context of patent enforcement and infringement. 


patents, infringement, drug formulations, glaucoma, DNA sequencing, insulin pumps

How to Cite

Crawford, S., O'Brien, H. M. & Stones, J. A., (2022) “Case Law: A Review of Selected Pharmaceutical Patents in the UK Courts during 2021”, British Journal of Pharmacy 7(1). doi:







Sarah-Jane Crawford (Beck Greener LLP)
Harry Melville O'Brien orcid logo (Beck Greener LLP)
James Alexander Stones (Beck Greener LLP)





Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Competing Interests

Harry M. O’Brien is a trainee patent attorney, Sarah Jane Crawford an associate and James A. Stones a partner at Beck Greener LLP, a London based firm of Chartered and European Patent and Trademark attorneys. This article does not constitute legal advice on any specific issues. For any specific matters, a personalised advice should always be sought from a licensed attorney.


Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

File Checksums (MD5)

  • Full text: d4663f9b98e12ac92fd350e1272caef9