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GSK and BOOTS company case summary


GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare UK is part of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), with headquarters in the United Kingdom and an estimated seven percent of the world’s pharmaceutical market. GSK’s Consumer Healthcare UK is the leading over the counter (OTC) company and home to a wide range of household brands.

In 2009, the company launched a new weight loss brand into the marketplace. The company took a lot of things into consideration especially by conducting a feasibility study before launching any major product into the market.

The company however due to the nature of its work has competitors that are competing with GSK in the production of similar goods and products. An example is Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (US) Ltd.

Reckitt Benckiser is the exclusive licensee of the patent that claims a monopoly for a liquid dispensing apparatus comprising three key parts: a bottle, a bottle neck liner and a flat-nosed syringe which the company has marketed as a dosing system for the administration of pain relief for children.

GSK denied that its dosing system infringed RB’s patent, and counter-claimed for revocation of the patent alleging that it was invalid on two different grounds.

The patent named two investors that were employed by Boots Healthcare International System (Boots) in their research and development department. In March 2006, Boots assigned the patent to the Reckitt Benckiser Group.

GSK, however, alleged that RB was not entitled to the patent in suit as, allegedly; two employees of Hubert De Backer NV (HDB) were involved in the design of the patented product and as such were the true inventors.


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