Our translator Laura Jones attended this year's J A Kemp Pharma Leaders IP Conference on 23rd September in London. Here's what she had to say:
A wide range of attendees rubbed shoulders at this event, including lawyers, patent attorneys, pharmaceutical company representatives and students. The day was packed with interesting talks and presentations focussed on a variety of pharmaceutical and biotech intellectual property issues, including patentability, trade marks, patent filing territories, supplementary protection certificates and litigation. Between presentations, well-earned breaks for coffee and lunch gave us a great opportunity to meet the speakers themselves as well as the other delegates.
In the first presentation, Ravi Srinivasan explained the quirks of filing patents in different territories, with a particular focus on the special aspects of filing in India and China. He highlighted the importance in China of presenting data appropriately in the original application, because patent examiners in China will not consider post-filed data when assessing sufficiency.
Sarah Roques and Dr Joan Ellis gave a comparison of patentable subject matter according to the US Patent Office and the EPO, and an explanation of how the differences between the two have panned out in comparable cases. They showed how the judicial exceptions to patentable subject matter in the US as mandated by the Supreme Court – laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas – meant that quite a number of inventions that were patentable under the EPC were not patentable under US law. It was fascinating to see how the laws of the two jurisdictions were applied in each case and how the decisions reached were so different even on the basis of the same or very similar subject matter.
The event provided a very interesting insight into how the various intellectual property processes work for our clients and the decisions that have to be made along the way. It demonstrated the reasons for certain drafting decisions, and in particular highlighted some of the approaches patent examiners take when assessing patentability. The opportunity to listen to and interact with some leading figures in patent offices, firms of patent attorney and pharmaceutical companies was particularly valuable, and I took some things away from the talks that I will certainly be able to apply in my day-to-day work.
I am grateful to the organisers of this very interesting event, and very much hope that similar conferences will be on offer in the future.