As a general rule, defendants in Spain must be heard before a preliminary injunction request against them can be upheld. Preliminary injunctions can therefore be granted ex parte only in exceptional cases – namely, in cases of urgency or if the hearing could jeopardise the preliminary injunction’s aim.
However, in pharmaceutical patent cases, plaintiffs often request ex parte preliminary injunctions and, for some years, many such requests were upheld despite their exceptional nature.
Until recently, it was relatively common for the patent courts to grant preliminary injunctions ex parte. However, in many cases, these same courts would – after hearing the defendants – revoke the preliminary injunction for being groundless. This is precisely what happened in the 2017 cases involving:
- valsartan and amlodipine (Exforge);
- oxycodone and naloxone (Targin);
- tenofovir and emtricitabine (Truvada); and