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Obviousness

Document No: PUB 20e/19 Posted: 20 January 2020
Consistency in the law and a balanced approach to the approach to inventive step / obviousness are both matters of considerable significance to all IP Federation members. It was therefore a matter of some concern that the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Actavis v ICOS of 1 November 2017 appeared to open up the possibility of a more restrictive approach to inventive step than had hitherto been generally understood. As a result, and so that the law could be clarified, IP Federation supported an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, and following grant of permission applied to intervene, in writing, in the appeal. This application was successful and, accordingly, written submissions (prepared on IP Federation’s behalf by Bristows LLP) were introduced into the appeal, which was heard on 19 and 20 November 2018. Three other organisations also intervened and made written submissions, namely: the UK BioIndustry Association, Medicines for Europe, and the British Generic Manufacturers Association.