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Justine Pila

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Professional And Academic Employee Inventions: Looking Beyond The Uk Paradigm, Justine Pila Jan 2012

Professional And Academic Employee Inventions: Looking Beyond The Uk Paradigm, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

The vast majority of inventions are devised by employees, raising the question who is entitled to patent them? Under the UK Patents Act 1977, the right to patent an invention lies primarily with its inventor(s). However, an exception exists for employee inventions to which section 39(1) applies. The recent decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia in UWA v Gray raises the question of the applicability of this provision in the university context, in respect of regular academic employees. In that case, the Court relied on UK authorities to support its conclusion that the ...


‘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 ...


Patent Eligibility And Scope Revisited After Schütz V. Werit, Justine Pila Jan 2012

Patent Eligibility And Scope Revisited After Schütz V. Werit, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

This chapter responds to the contribution of Professor Ted Sichelman in the same volume by reconsidering the UK courts’ method of determining patent scope. Using my earlier work regarding the role of eligibility as a determinant of patent scope as the departure point for that reconsideration, I argue that the theory of “patent eligibility scope” proposed in Sichelman’s chapter runs against the grain of UK patent jurisprudence by virtue of its uncertain and open-ended policy nature, and is therefore unlikely to be accepted by the UK courts. On the other hand, recent UK cases such as Schütz v. Werit ...


Intellectual Property Rights And Detached Human Body Parts, Justine Pila Jan 2012

Intellectual Property Rights And Detached Human Body Parts, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

This paper responds to an invitation by the editors to consider whether the intellectual property (IP) regime suggests an appropriate model for protecting interests in detached human body parts. It begins by outlining the extent of existing IP protection for body parts in Europe, and the relevant strengths and weaknesses of the patent system in that regard. It then considers two further species of IP right of less obvious relevance. The first are the statutory rights of ownership conferred by domestic UK law in respect of employee inventions, and the second are the economic and moral rights recognized by European ...


The Future Of The European Requirement For An Invention: Inherent Patentability As A Pre- And Post-Patent Determinant, Justine Pila Jan 2011

The Future Of The European Requirement For An Invention: Inherent Patentability As A Pre- And Post-Patent Determinant, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

The purpose of this chapter is to develop the reflections contained in the conclusion of a recent book (The Requirement for an Invention in Patent Law (Oxford: OUP, 2010)). Specifically, it is to propose a method for applying the requirement for an invention under Article 52(1) of the EPC, including a definition of the invention itself. I argue that while the proposal does not solve all definitional and methodological issues regarding that requirement, it is nonetheless justified on four central grounds. First, it reorients the European patent system around its central aim of supporting industrial growth. Second, it explains ...


Patents For Genes And Methods Of Analysis And Comparison, Justine Pila Jan 2010

Patents For Genes And Methods Of Analysis And Comparison, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

In March 2010, a United States (U.S.) District Court held that isolated human genes are “products of nature”, and methods of analysis and comparison “abstract mental processes”, for which a US patent cannot validly be granted. Its decision undermined U.S. patent granting practices, and widens the gap between U.S. and European law on what constitutes inherently patentable subject matter (“inventions”) and a proportionate patent grant. In this note I consider the case – AMP v USPTO – and its implications for European patent law.


Who Owns The Intellectual Property Rights In Academic Work?, Justine Pila Jan 2010

Who Owns The Intellectual Property Rights In Academic Work?, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

In this Opinion piece the ownership of intellectual property rights in university teaching and research is considered against the backdrop of British university intellectual property policies and recent cases. Starting from the position of Lord Evershed that it is "just and commonsense" that academics own the copyright in their lectures, and by extension the copyright in their research, I consider the policy arguments for university claims of ownership in respect of such copyright and academic employees' inventions.


Article 53(B) Epc: A Challenge To The Novartis Theory Of European Patent History, Justine Pila Jan 2009

Article 53(B) Epc: A Challenge To The Novartis Theory Of European Patent History, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

In this article the authoritative ('Novartis/transgenic plant systems') interpretation of the Article 53(b) EPC exclusion from European patentability of plant and animal varieties, and essentially biological processes for the creation of plants and animals, is considered, and its significance for the trend of EPO jurisprudence and legitimacy of the EC Biotechnology Patenting Directive noted. The Enlarged Board of Appeal's justification for that interpretation in 'Novartis' with reference to the exclusion's legislative history is challenged, and an alternative theory of that history proposed, based on a thorough analysis of the unpublished 'travaux preparatoires' for the Strasbourg and ...


Chemical Products And Proportionate Patents Before And After Generics V Lundbeck, Justine Pila Jan 2009

Chemical Products And Proportionate Patents Before And After Generics V Lundbeck, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

In Generics Ltd v Lundbeck A/S (2009) UKHL 12, the House of Lords affirmed the validity of a patent for a chemical product - an isolated stereoisomer - supported by a method of producing the product, but protecting the chemical product as such independent of the method by which it was made. In so doing, it appears to have resolved a longstanding tension between granting patents for chemical products and requiring that the scope of monopoly rights equiperate with the disclosure in the specification. It also appears to have rejected the Biogen Inc v Medeva plc (1997) RPC 1 (HL) view ...


Dispute Over The Meaning Of ‘Invention’ In Article 52(2) Epc: The Patentability Of Computer-Implemented Inventions In Europe, Justine Pila Jan 2005

Dispute Over The Meaning Of ‘Invention’ In Article 52(2) Epc: The Patentability Of Computer-Implemented Inventions In Europe, Justine Pila

Justine Pila

In 2002, the European Economic and Social Committee (ESC) described the doctrinal premise of the European Patent Office´s interpretation of Art. 52(2) of the European Patent Convention as "the product of legal casuistry". The purpose of the current article is to consider that description, and ask whether it is fair, or whether the EPO´s approach to Art. 52 is better ascribed to problems inherent in the EPC itself. Three issues are addressed to that end. The first is the object of the ESC´s criticism: Art. 52(2) and its interpretation by the EPO´s Boards of ...