The Patent Law Law Term Paper Research Paper Essay (Term Paper Sample)
Critically analyse the following statement by the Supreme Court in Eli Lilly v Human Genome Sciences (2011):
“Just as it would be undesirable to let someone have a monopoly over a particular biological molecule too early, because it risks closing down competition, so it would be wrong to set the hurdle for patentability too high”.
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A few years ago, the UK Supreme made a monumental ruling that altered the way future cases involving patents of biological material will be handled. The particular case involved an attack on a patent that had been obtained by Human Genome Sciences (HGS) by an interested party, Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals. The former held a patent for a unique protein it had discovered, which the latter disputed as contradicting articles 52 and 57 of the European Patent Convention, governing the issuing of patents in the UK. The national courts had revoked the patent in favor of Eli Lilly & Co.; however, the Supreme Court granted the appeal and chastised the domestic courts for not following the law of the European Patent Office. While justifying the verdict, Lord Neuberger, the leading Supreme Court judge in the case, stated that “Just as it would be undesirable to let someone have a monopoly over a particular biological molecule too early, because it risks closing down competition, so it would be wrong to set the hurdle for patentability too high..” This statement is crucial to the patenting practice because it implies that setting standards for patentability too high might have some unfavorable consequences on the advancement of discoveries made by researchers in the bioscience industry.
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