Following concerns that the strict patent infringement tests applied by the Courts in the UK are driving lucrative clinical trials overseas, the UK government has now concluded a review of the statute that would allow for a broader ‘Bolar’ exemption to enter UK law.
Questions have been asked of Prime Minister David Cameron concerning the British Government’s position in relation to Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) decision in the Brüstle v Greenpeace case. It seems IPCopy’s earlier posting on this matter reflects the concerns of many with interests in the future of regenerative medicine that such EU-wide decisions are profoundly damaging, especially when they undermine the decision of a member state to fund such research with taxpayers’ money.
For many The Hague Agreement for the international protection of industrial designs is one of those backwaters of IP law, a bit of a niche interest like the UPOV treaty for protection of plant varieties. However, this modest sibling of the PCT and Madrid Protocol won a major endorsement on 18 December 2012 when President Obama signed it into US law as part of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act.
Now that the dust has settled after a decade of uncertainty IPcopy surveys the scene to try and determine what the state of play is on patenting of human pluripotent stem cells in Europe.
Following in the footsteps of many other patent offices around the world, Australia has put in place an amendment to the Patents Act 1990 that will come into force on 15 April 2013. In a perceived effort to ‘raise the bar’ of patentability – a catchy but meaningless phrase coined by the European Patent Office a few years ago – a number of new standards have been introduced into the statute. The new measures include a more rigorous approach to examination of inventive step that increases the scope for IPO Examiners to consider obviousness from the perspective of a non-Australian skilled person. There is also a significant reduction in the term for ensuring the application proceeds to acceptance, from 21 months from issuance of the first Examination Report down to a fleeting12 months. The expected effect of these measures is to make it harder to get the broad scope of patent protection that is currently expected by many applicants in Australia.
The advice issuing from many Australian patent attorney firms is for applicants who have pending applications in Australia to request examination before 15 April 2013 in order to benefit from the current more lenient standards. Presumably, those with pending International patent applications could also enter the Australian National Phase early as well if Australia is seen as a key market.
An interesting story by Charles Eisenstein in The Guardian highlights the way in which patents often become associated with potentially negative aspects of technology. It can sometimes seem as if the word “patent” when associated with a given technology acts as a flag to the reader that this is evil science.