Intellectual property

Human Germline Genome Editing – Genetics bodies weigh in on debate with position paper

Daniel Lim

In an article published in American Journal of Human Genetics on 3 August 2017, an international group of 11 organisations with genetics expertise has issued a joint position statement, setting out 3 key positions on the question of human germline genome editing: At this time, given the nature and number of unanswered scientific, ethical, and Read More

EPO reverses its position on the patentability of products obtained by essentially biological processes

Asma Bendjaballah

On 29 June 2017, the EPO amended Rules 27-b) and 28(2) of the European Patent Convention (EPC) with respect to patentable biotechnological inventions and their exceptions. The EPO thus follows the earlier opinion of the European Commission (EC) expressed in Notice 2016/C 411/03 regarding the patentability of plants or animals obtained by essentially biological processes, Read More

German Federal Court of Justice maintains patent-compulsory license for HIV medicine

Birgit Kramer

The HIV medicine Isentress from Merck may be further distributed.  On 11 July 2017, the German Federal Court of Justice confirmed a decision by the Federal Patent Court (reference X ZB 2/17).  This had determined that the Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi must grant the competitor Merck a compulsory license to its European patent (EP 1 Read More

A CRISPR patent pool – one step closer to reality?

Robyn Trigg

In a press release on 10 July 2017, the Broad Institute announced that is has, with joint patent owners Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Rockefeller University, entered discussions about a potential CRISPR patent pool.  The institutions collectively submitted 22 patents (from 10 patent families) for consideration to be included in a Read More

Supreme Court modifies the UK approach to assessing scope of protection (Lilly v Actavis)

Tom Edwards

On 12 July, the UK Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the Lilly v Actavis pemetrexed case bringing the long-running dispute to a conclusion.  The Supreme Court was asked to consider a number of issues, the most significant being whether the approach of the English courts to determining the extent of protection conferred by Read More