Is there a role for ethics in Intellectual Property?

Oncomouse?

This is the first in a series of posts that will explore the interaction between ethics and the law of intellectual property. This first post will look at the ethics underlying intellectual property law, and the extent to which ethics has shaped exceptions to rights in intellectual property law.

Intellectual property and ethics may seem strange companions to some practitioners, but the law of intellectual property is philosophically rooted in ethical considerations. George Bell, a Scottish advocate in the early part of the 19th century, described the moral imperative behind intellectual property protection:

Of all things, the produce of a man’s intellectual labour is most peculiarly distinguishable as his own; and the Patents, or the statutes on which Copyright now rests, are intended not so much to create a right, as to protect it against invasion

George Bell, Commentaries on the Law of Scotland

Bell’s perspective reflects the philosophical conception of intellectual property originating in the work of John Locke, writing in his Second Treatise on Government.… Read more...

Garmin v Philips: Changing Cases

On 29th January 2019 the Hon. Mr Justice Henry Carr handed down his judgment in the case of Garmin (Europe) Limited v  Koninklijke Philips N.V. [2019] EWHC 107 (Ch).

The aim of this article is to look at how the parties’ cases in Garmin v Philips appear to have changed during the course of litigation, and to think about why that often tends to be the case in litigation, and in particular for patent litigation. As Henry Carr J says in his judgment: “Cases change during the course of litigation, which may mean that issues once seen as important no longer matter.Read more...

REGEN v ESTAR: Consequences for Patent Practioners

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On 18 January 2019 we received our first patents trial judgment of the year in Regen v Estar Medical and ors [2019] EWHC 63 (Pat) (bailii). The trial itself took place over 5 days in June 2018. The claim was brought by Regen Lab against Estar Medical, who it accused of infringing its European Patent (UK) No. EP 2073862.

Regen describes itself as “a global leader in products for autologous regenerative medicine based on freshly prepared platelet rich plasma” whereas Estar considers itself more of a “world leader in Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and autologous cell therapy technologies“: it would seem inevitable that there would be some bad blood between them.… Read more...

Unwired Planet – AIPPI Rapid Response Seminar – Part 2

On 13 November 2018 AIPPI held a rapid response seminar on the SEP Litigation and FRAND licensing decision of the Court of Appeal in Huawei v Unwired Planet [2018] EWCA Civ 2344.

This is Part Two of this article. Please see here for Part One

Part Two looks at the responses to the Judgment and its wider consequences. We kick off again with Richard Vary and Sir Robin Jacob. 

The Consequences of the Judgment

Whether the FRAND obligation extends to an obligation to license to all parties is currently a hot topic.

Does the Unwired Planet Judgment indicate that FRAND undertakings oblige licensors to licence to other parties at all parts of the supply chain?… Read more...

What’s wrong with the Supreme Court’s Pregabalin decision?

Everything to do with second medical use patents. 

Not because of any fault in the legal reasoning: because the decision came to be made by a Court at all. 

If you haven’t yet had a chance to read the Pregabalin Judgment then you can save yourself some time by reading this excellent summary by Darren Smyth of EIP.

The offending molecule

This article isn’t going to re-tread any ground. It’s about whether the law relating to second medical use patents is fit for purpose, and whether a Court should really be making these assessments, Supreme or not.

The reason you should care about patenting new uses for existing drugs, even if you’re not a patent lawyer, is because it is the future of healthcare.… Read more...