Chapter 11: Conclusions
JOBNAME: Medical Patents Law PAGE: 1 SESS: 2 OUTPUT: Thu Jul 14 09:50:44 2011 11. Conclusion The examination of issues considered in the previous chapters has shown that the question of whether patents should be granted for methods of medical treatment is a policy decision since it involves some serious public health considerations. Initially, this was not appreciated by the courts in the United Kingdom but, later, they hinted that it might be the justiﬁcation for the exclusion and, in the process, castigated the previous bases to legal history. But the European Patent Convention (EPC) 1973 contained the exclusion for methods of medical treatment in Europe in the form of Article 52(4) EPC, which was subsequently changed to Article 53(c) EPC 2000. What then formed the basis of the exclusion in each of those provisions, as a matter of statutory interpretation? The legislative history of the exclusion sheds little light on the reasons for it, but provides some insight into what the drafters meant in respect of the exclusions for therapeutic, surgical and diagnostic methods. Are the exclusions justiﬁed at all then? A comprehensive look at these considerations formed part of the matrix of arguments for and against patent protection considered in Chapters 2 and 3. The EPC jurisprudence relating to the interpretation of the exclusion informed Chapters 4–7. These chapters also considered new technologies in light of the medical treatment exclusion and other exclusions from patentability that might be implicated. The UK...
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