The Herchel Smith Intellectual Property Lecture 2022*

The UK courts' striving for consistency with international decisions in patent law
Richard Meade A judge of the High Court of England and Wales

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The Patents Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court (before that, the House of Lords) have all and for many years stressed the need for consistency with decisions of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO. They have also taken account of decisions of the national courts of other EPC member states on many occasions in pursuit of consistency, in relation to validity but also infringement. This lecture will consider: how this has been done; when it has worked well and less well; how it can and should work if the EPO (in particular) changes or develops its law differently from the UK; and how that fits with the law of precedent. It will also consider the issues that may arise with decisions under the UPC.

Contributor Notes

This lecture was given before the Enlarged Board of the EPO gave its decision in G2/21 and before the UPC Agreement entered into force on 1 June 2023

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