Jane Glover Barrister – Mediator – Adjudicator

PATENT SUFFICIENCY AND SUPPORT

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Two topics I have been thinking, speaking and writing a lot about this year are patent support and patent sufficiency.  There are a number of reasons I have focused on these:

  • First, they are difficult issues to get a handle on, and I wanted to really, properly get to grips with them. (Honestly, I think very few people do really understand these issues, and perhaps that is a reflection of the current state of the law.  I just read a summary of a panel discussion between patent luminaries such as Sir Robin Jacob, Lord Hoffman, and leading patent judges from the EU, and they disagreed about many of the basic fundamentals of this area.  It was fairly alarming: how can parties get any measure of certainty? But it was also reassuring: there is clearly no shame in mere mortals struggling to reach a measure of conceptual clarity.)
  • Secondly, this is an area where the ostensibly harmonised patent legislation of New Zealand, Australia, and the UK actually differs.  In the UK, lack of support can be taken into account at the examination stage, but not at the revocation stage, whilst in New Zealand and Australia, lack of support and insufficiency are both taken into account at the examination stage and both amount grounds of opposition/revocation.
  • Thirdly, there is some very interesting case law emerging from the UK and Australia on these issues.

If you are interested in a formal, legal analysis of the development of the law in this area, you could check out an article I wrote for IP Forum: “Swallowing the Red Pill: Sufficiency and the New Fragility of Patent Protection”, June 2019.

Alternatively, if you prefer a lighter approach and something a little more accessible, see the talk I gave at IPSANZ in May: https://youtu.be/c06u3XVP3_I

And still it goes on!  I’m co-presenting a webinar for IPTA (with Dan Beck from Wrays) on 27 August 2019, but you would need to sign up and pay for access to that one… 

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Jane Glover

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By Jane Glover
Jane Glover Barrister – Mediator – Adjudicator

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