The ruling of the UK Supreme Court in July 2017 in Actavis v Lilly has changed the way that patents will be interpreted in the future in the United Kingdom. Specifically, the scope of protection will extend not just to products and processes that fall within the scope of the patent claims on a normal interpretation of the words used but also to certain variants according to a new doctrine of equivalents. This applies to all technology sectors. It will be good news for patentees but will increase uncertainty for their competitors, who will need to reconsider any infringement opinions concerning their products and processes and may need to revise their design-around plans. Graham Burnett-Hall of Marks & Clerk will explain the ruling and consider how the new doctrine of equivalents may be applied in practice in various technology sectors.
The Supreme Court's decision also contains important guidance for patent attorneys on when statements made by them to examiners in the course of patent prosecution may be used by the UK courts to determine a patent's scope of protection.
Chair: Gill Grassie, Brodies LLP
Speaker: Graham Burnett-Hall, Marks & Clerk LLP