The Supreme Court handed down its judgement in Actavis v Eli Lilly on 12 July 2017, almost 3 years ago. At the time it was said variously to be: the most seismic shift in UK patent law since the 1977 Act; no real change except in marginal cases; a long-overdue recognition of the doctrine of equivalents; the worst decision made in patent law for as long as anyone could remember; the start of a new golden age for patentees; the beginning of a whole new world of uncertainty; and a ruling both that Na = K and Na ≠ K.
Douglas Campbell QC considers:
- Which of these views, if any, has turned out to be correct?
- How is Actavis actually being applied at first instance and on appeal?
- Are patentees winning more cases, or is it different routes to the same result?
- Does the doctrine of equivalents apply to validity?”