Plausibility and technical contribution in the EPO and the UK courts
"Plausibility" has been an increasingly hot topic in patent litigation in recent years, particularly in cases relating to pharmaceuticals, and its rise has not been without controversy amongst patent lawyers. It has most frequently been associated with inventive step and insufficiency, but it has also come up in relation to industrial applicability, priority and novelty and it is now a firmly established concept for any lawyer considering the validity of a patent. This talk will briefly summarise the origins of plausibility in EPO case law before looking at the way in which the UK courts have approached the issue in recent years. It is hoped that the decision of the Supreme Court on this issue in Warner-Lambert will have been handed down by the time of this talk so that it can be included in the discussion.
Andrew Wells, Senior Associate (Intellectual Property), Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Andrew is a patent litigator with particular expertise in life sciences. In this context he has worked for major global pharmaceutical companies on significant cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal, as well as advising on European and global patent litigation strategy, working with law firms from around the world. He has attended and advised on strategy in relation to opposition hearings at the European Patent Office in Munich (both revoking and defending patents) and has also attended and advised on strategy in relation to significant patent trials in Norway, Canada and Australia. Andrew has attended experiments in the context of UK litigation and has been involved in letters of request to the English courts in connection with patent proceedings in the United States. He has also been involved in work relating to the European Unified Patent Court.