When does Discovery become Patentable Invention?

Presented by

John Richards, Ladas & Parry LLP

About this talk

The patent system is based on a social contract between the inventor and the state. In return for a disclosure of the invention by the inventor, the state grants the inventor or his assignee a period in which he can exclude others from using his or her invention. The two sides of this contract are reflected in the two principle parts of a patent:1) the description of the invention and how to put it into practice and 2) the claims or definition of the invention which determine who one can sue for trespassing onto one's invention. In recent years the courts have placed increased emphasis on trying to establish a proper balance between the contribution made by the description and the permissible breadth of the definition set out in the claims. Different countries can take different views as to where the balance point should lie. In today's global marketplace, such differences can be very important. In this presentation we will look at how pharmaceutical inventions may be defined and the requirements of the disclosure in order to support such definitions with particular emphasis on issues that arise as one moves from an appreciation of the significance of a new biochemical discovery to using that discovery as a basis for treatment. If one files a patent application too early with insufficient disclosure the courts may conclude that one is merely speculating and not entitled to a patent because "the invention" has not yet been made. If one waits too long, noe may lose the race to the patent office. The presentation will try to untangle the issues involved.

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