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SelectedWorks

2012

Justine Pila

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

‘Sewing The Fly Buttons On The Statute:’ Employee Inventions And The Employment Context, Justine Pila Jan 2012

‘Sewing The Fly Buttons On The Statute:’ Employee Inventions And The Employment Context, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

Section 39(1) of the Patents Act 1977 governs the ownership of inventions devised by employees in the course of their employment. Introduced ‘to codify in a few lines the accumulated common law experience’ prior to 1977, it does not expressly differentiate between employment fields, and has been widely assumed to apply indiscriminately, without regard to the particular context of employment. The purpose of this article is to revisit that assumption. In the argument made, section 39(1) was built around a private sector paradigm the courts’ departure from which is supported by a ‘rational reason’ in the Shanks v ...