Related insights: Patents


Brexit and patents

02 Jul 2021
As the European patent regime is not an instrument of the European Union ("EU"), it has remained largely unaffected by Brexit. The European Patent Convention 2000 and its various protocols are not part of the accumulated body of EU law. The current membership of the European Patent Office numbers 38 countries, which is a far greater number than the current 27 member states of the EU. The membership of the United Kingdom ("UK") to the Patent Cooperation Treaty also remains unaffected.

Brexit and designs

18 May 2021
Since 1 January 2021, the scope of protection afforded by registered Community designs ("RCDs") has not extended to the United Kingdom ("UK"). However, each owner of a RCD that was registered and published before or on 31 December 2020 has been granted a comparable registered and enforceable IP right in the UK, known as the 're-registered design' – hereafter "RRD" – which came into force automatically and free of charge on 1 January 2021.

Lack of inventive step: reading v appreciating

18 Aug 2020
Patents bestow upon their owners powerful monopolistic rights, entitling them to control the use of their inventions for a finite period. Although monopolies are generally regarded as being contrary to the public interest, an exception is made in the case of patents because there is perceived to be a 'bargain' whereby the grant of exclusivity is assumed to encourage the disclosure by patentees of their inventions, thereby adding to the pool of human knowledge such that the inventions will then become available for use by all at the expiry of the patent term (usually 20 years)[1].

UK Supreme Court gives a strict interpretation on the rules of sufficiency

13 Jul 2020
The UK's Supreme Court ("UKSC") has handed down its eagerly awaited judgment in the dispute between Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc ("Regeneron") and Kymab Limited ("Kymab").  The invention by Regeneron related to the creation of a type of transgenic mouse (the "VelocImmune") that is more effective in its receipt of human antibody genes, for the production of human antibodies. As such, this genetically modified mouse has been regarded as a major breakthrough in the field of bio pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, despite such an advancement, the UKSC has held that the patents upon which Regeneron based its innovative platform are invalid for lack of sufficiency because the claims, as construed, would include a range of modified mice, some of which it would not have been possible to produce as at the priority date of February 2001.

Court of Appeal confirms UK is appropriate forum to determine global FRAND licence terms

13 Feb 2019
A standard essential patent ("SEP") is a patent which protects a technology which the patentee has declared to be essential to the implementation of one or more of the telecommunications standards, such as 2G-GSM, 3G-UMTS and 4G-LTE. Standards are set by standard setting organisations ("SSO"), one of which SSO is in this case the European Telecommunications Standards Institute ("ETSI").