Suppose you are a (patent) attorney in a pharmaceutical company and want to advise your company how to best protect the results of a clinical trial designed to find out the best possible treatment regimen of a certain known and approved drug X. The researchers of your company have devised and been allowed to conduct…

In one of the saga of cases that involved Societé des Produits Nestlé and companies that are trying to market capsules compatible with Nescafé’s Dolce Gusto system, the defendant alleged, among other arguments, that some of the patents asserted were null due to a lack of inventive step. The case was handled by Commercial Court…

Around this time last year, in Edwards Lifesciences v Boston Scientific [2017], His Honour Judge Hacon (sitting as a High Court Judge) had the opportunity to analyse two interesting aspects of UK patent law: (i) the law of implied disclosures and anticipation; and (ii) the importance of so-called secondary evidence in the evaluation of inventive…

Last year, Actavis, Teva and Mylan (“Actavis”) sought revocation in the English Patents Court of two patents relating to tadalafil, which is sold by Eli Lilly (“Lilly”) as the active ingredient in CIALIS® to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. As is the usual course, ICOS (the patentee) and Lilly (the exclusive licensee) subsequently…

Patent lawyers in the UK have spent the last three months pondering, debating and at times indulging in an element of despair (to put it mildly) about what might be the impact of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Actavis v Eli Lilly [2017] UKSC 48 on issues of validity (see here). Today they…

For the first time, the Spanish Supreme Court made far-reaching observations on key issues of the assessment of inventive step and, in particular, on a) the reformulation of the “objective technical problem” as defined in the patent’s specification, b) the limits to the combination of prior art documents and c) the professional qualifications required for…

When analysing inventive activity, one risk that appears to be here to stay is that of hindsight. As Richard Ebbink very aptly put it in a workshop held at the INGRES Institute in Zurich on 8 and 9 September 2017 in honour of Dr. Dieter Brändle – the first President of the Swiss Federal Patent…

The recent Apple v. Baili case has generated a wide interest in design patents. This article discusses developments on judicial standards for determining design patent infringement applied in Apple v. Baili, and some implications from this case. Such standards involve how to determine distinctive features, what to be considered to differentiate a functional feature, what…