Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Things One Notices Once One Has Been Told

I would never have noticed the following phenomenon if my Copyright, Patent etc lecturer had not mentioned it.

When companies get into drug patent, or indeed lots of other patent cases, a common thread emerges. There are umpteen competing witnesses on each side, arguing exactly the opposite in agreement with their colleagues on their side, but acting as if the other 'experts' are complete whackers.

Then, the contents bit of the judgment, as in Pfizer v Eli Lilly, reads like my patent law notes. In other words, they argue everything. The case moves from claim construction, to infringement, to each threshold step of patent validity. First they argue no fair basis for the claim, then they argue a lack of inventive step etc. Further, just about every case I studied this semester is in the 'Cases Cited' list. Quite amazing. Surely the validity of a patent is arguable only on a couple of points, not the entire textbook, or every requirement the Patents Act 1990 places upon the claim.

Apologies for non-IP people, but it always strikes me as funny when something like that happens. A little knowledge, I guess, is a dangerous thing.


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