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Full-Text Articles in Law
Professional And Academic Employee Inventions: Looking Beyond The Uk Paradigm, 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
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
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
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 ...