Samsung is joined by Tokyo-based Fujifilm Kyowa Biologics as a claimant. In total, four companies have biosimilars either approved or in the works.
In the original case filed in March 2016, Samsung sought to nullify dozens of additional patents on Humira filed by AbbVie to block the application. At the time, Samsung and Biogen said they wanted to be able to launch in Europe on the expiration of Humira's basic patent in October 2018.
"We welcome the court's judgment. At Samsung Bioepis, we remain committed to driving positive change in the healthcare system through the development of affordable, high-quality biosimilars," Mingi Hyun, senior manager for global communications at Samsung Bioepis said in an email.
The decision written by Justice Henry Carr also noted the potential financial implications of the decision in Europe.
"I now turn to the question of spin-off value. The Claimants submit that the declarations will be influential in other European Courts and tribunals, and will make it more difficult for AbbVie to obtain preliminary injunctions, particularly in jurisdictions where validity cannot be challenged whilst patents are under opposition in the EPO (European Patent Office)."
Samsung Bioepis, 93.3 percent owned by Samsung BioLogics and part of the broader Samung Group, has one of the richest pipelines of biosimilars, including five other candidates in addition to EMA-approved Enbrel.
In 2015, Humira sales crossed $14 billion since approval in 2003, displacing Pfizer's anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor as the top-selling drug ever. CEO Rick Gonzalez has repeatedly said the company would take every legal step possible to keep the franchise rolling under new indications and other related steps to hold off biosimilars.
In the U.S. Amgen has already won Food and Drug Administration approval for its Humira biosimilar, Amjevita, in June of last year. But Amgen CEO Bob Bradway has said he would hold fire until at least 2018 with the expectation AbbVie CEO Rick Gonzalez would head back to court.