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Supreme Court rules on industrial application - Eli Lilly v Human Genome Sciences patent case decision

02 November 2011

Intellectual Property Alert

The UK Supreme Court has handed down its judgment in the Eli Lilly v Human Genome Sciences (HGS) case on the test for industrial application in biotech patent cases.


Traditionally the European Patent Office (EPO) has taken a relaxed view of the requirement that a patentable invention must have industrial application and the issue has barely been litigated in the UK courts. The EPO view looks set to continue.


The Supreme Court allowed the HGS appeal and overturned the lower courts' decisions that the patent lacked industrial application. In doing so, it confirmed the view of the EPO Technical Board of Appeal which had already ruled that the patent was valid in the face of Lilly's industrial application objection.


This article covers:

  • An overview of the HGS patent
  • Whether a use for the claimed product was sufficiently identified
  • The UK Supreme Court principles on industrial application in biotech cases and application to the Eli Lilly v HGS case
  • Hogan Lovells' analysis of the Eli Lilly v HGS decision and its implications

Read the full article "A difficult and troublesome case: UK Supreme Court rules on industrial application test for patents" 


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