In March 2010 OUP published the first ever monograph-length study of the requirement for an invention in UK patent law, by Oxford Law Faculty member, Justine Pila. The book offers an analysis of legal conceptions of the invention in UK patent law and their development from before the first English patent legislation of 1623 through the patent system’s recent phase of Europeanization. Its publication comes at a time of widespread uncertainty regarding the invention, which is the basic subject matter of patent protection in all jurisdictions, and the meaning of which is currently under review by the US Supreme Court, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office, and the Australian Government.
The central thesis of the book is that properly construed, the requirement for an invention sets the boundaries of the patent system in two ways: first, by defining the categories of subject matter capable of supporting a patent; and second, by restricting the protection conferred by a patent to individual subject matter conceived qua invention. It argues that greater attention ought to be given to the second of these roles, and in particular, that decision makers ought to focus more on the proper conception of individual subject matter when determining their patentability and the scope of protection which their patents confer.
published Thursday 18 March 2010
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