Chapter 9: United Kingdom Patents Act 2004
JOBNAME: Medical Patents Law PAGE: 1 SESS: 2 OUTPUT: Thu Jul 14 09:50:44 2011 9. United Kingdom Patents Act 2004 A INTRODUCTION The new Patents Act 2004 (the 2004 Act), to ensure ‘conformity of practice’, has implemented the changes brought about by the revision of the European Patent Convention (EPC) in 2000, and has kept the exclusion as part of UK law.1 A judicially created exclusion of methods of medical treatment from patent protection existed prior to the enactment of the Patents Act 1977 (the 1977 Act).2 Now, in the post 1977 period, the courts in the United Kingdom are burdened with interpreting a speciﬁc legislative exclusion for methods of medical treatment.3 They have accepted, with little hesitation and under the guise of conformity, the interpretation given by the Technical Boards of Appeal (TBAs) and the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Ofﬁce (EBA) of the European Patent Ofﬁce (EPO) on the corresponding provisions of the European Patent Convention (EPC). This approach has been followed blindly for over 20 years.4 Explanatory Notes to the Patents Act 2004 (Chapter 16, 2004) at para. 16. The ideas in this chapter have been derived, in part, from the following: E. Ventose, ‘The Byzantine Logic of Patent Law Jurisprudence: Patent Protection for Dosage Regimes Revisited’ (2009) JIPLP 415; and ‘Patent Protection for Methods of Medical Treatment in the United Kingdom’  IPQ 58. 2 See J. Pila, ‘Methods of Medical Treatment within Australian and United Kingdom...
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