Thursday, 23 April 2009

Taking account of foreign and EPO decisions

The May 2009 issue of 10-times-a-year journal Patent World contains the usual assortment of contentious, litigious and financial items from the world of monopoly-protected innovation. One such item is an article by Gregor König (König Szynka Tilmann von Renesse) on the ruling of the Bundesgerichtshof late last year that Eli Lilly's olanzapine patent was both novel and non-obvious. 

The article, which runs through the stages of the case and places it within the context of earlier decisions, observes that the highest German court, in reaching its decision, also took into account the decisions in parallel proceedings before the British courts and before the European Patent Office's Technical Boards of Appeal.  This serves as a reminder that, despite the considerable legal and procedural differences that still exist between jurisdictions around Europe, the substantive norms of patent law are shared and consistency between them in patent practice is an aim to which most courts now consciously aspire.

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