Scintilla – a flash, a spark, an iota. Shorthand for creativity and an indicator of inventiveness under Australian law.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Method in the madness

The Australian Patent Office has for many years granted patents for methods of medical treatment of the human body. The status quo was recently challenged in a case that was appealed to the High Court.

In a significant decision, the High Court, by a majority of 4:1, has confirmed that methods of medical treatment of the human body and claims to methods of treatment for second or later medical uses of previously known products are patentable inventions in Australia, providing certainty for medical and pharmaceutical inventors that their innovations will continue to be protected.

The High Court also considered the issue of indirect infringement in the context of method claims. The narrow interpretation of indirect infringement may lessen the scope for enforcing valid claims covering methods of treatment.

Allens has produced a Focus article examining this case in greater detail.

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