Brexit will have no impact on UK membership of the EPO.

Since the referendum vote in June 2016 for the UK to leave the European Union (EU), there has been speculation as to how the UK's exit from the EU ("Brexit") will affect the UK's relationship with other countries in Europe and around the world.

At a meeting with representatives of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA, the UK professional body for patent attorneys) on 25th January 2018, Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office, made clear that Brexit will have no effect on UK membership of the European Patent Organisation and that British European patent attorneys will continue to be able to represent applicants before the EPO after the UK leaves the European Union.

President Battistelli said: “Meeting with CIPA gave us an opportunity to restate that Brexit will have no impact on UK membership of the EPO. For a very simple reason - the EPO is not an EU agency but an independent international organisation, of which the UK is a founding member.”

Further details of the meeting between CIPA and President Battistelli are here in a press release from CIPA.

LEO's Patent not "Obvious to Try".

The English Court of Appeal has overturned Birss J's decision in Teva v LEO and ruled that LEO's patents EP 1 178 808 and 2 455 083 are not obvious and therefore valid.

The patents concern ointments for the topical treatment of psoriasis. Calcipotriol (a vitamin D analogue) had been introduced with success by LEO in 1991 and rapidly become well-known and widely used. But it was not as potent as the steroids, including in particular the corticosteroid betamethasone – a compound known and used topically for psoriasis before 1990. LEO's ointment was a combination of two active ingredients (calcipotriol and betamethasone) in an emollient (Croda's Arlamol E, a PPG-15 Stearyl Ether).

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Dr Susanna Stephen

We are delighted to confirm that Dr Susanna Stephen has joined us as an Associate. Susanna is a European Patent Attorney with a chemistry degree from the University of Bristol. She was awarded a postgraduate scholarship and PhD also from the University of Bristol for her research involving homogeneous transition metal catalysis. Prior to joining Atherton Knowles, Susanna worked at a large patent attorney firm in Sydney, Australia and before that at a private practice firm in London.

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Scary Changes to UKIPO Patents Opinion Service.

Since 1 October 2014 the scope of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Patents Opinion Service has been extended. It is now possible to request a wider range of opinions on infringement and validity of a UK patent, a European patent (UK) or, for the first time, a Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC).

An IPO opinion is still, in principle, non-binding but, controversially, where an opinion is issued indicating a clear case of lack of novelty or lack of an inventive step the IPO may, itself, start the process of revoking that patent.

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UK Extends Scope of Clinical Research Exemption

From 1 October 2014 the experimental use exemption to patent infringement (also known as the research exemption) of section 60(5)(b) of the UK Patents Act is changing. The changes are intended to make it easier to use a patented product to carry out drug testing or other activity to provide information to regulatory or public bodies.

The changes cover activity carried out to provide information required by regulatory bodies e.g. in clinical trials. Also covered will be activity carried out to provide information to a public body to assess if a medicine should be used in the provision of healthcare e.g. health technology assessments.

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