Plausibility: A Conditio Sine Qua Non of Patent Law?: CIPIL Evening Webinar

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  • Cambridge Law Faculty published this video item, entitled “Plausibility: A Conditio Sine Qua Non of Patent Law?: CIPIL Evening Webinar” – below is their description.

    Speaker: Dr Alison Slade, Leicester Law School

    Biography: Alison joined Leicester Law School in September 2017 having previously worked at Brunel University London. In 2016, she was made a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Oxford and Research Fellow of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre. While completing her doctorate, Alison held the position of Stipendiary Lecturer at St Catherine’s College, Oxford (2008-2012). Her research interests are centred around international intellectual property law in the trade context, comparative IP law and the relationship between IP and health. Patent law is at the heart of her projects, the most recent of which looks at the nexus between patent rights and licensing.

    Abstract: The plausibility test requires that all valid patents make a technical contribution which is at least plausible. Plausibility originates in the case law of the EPO but has been most enthusiastically embraced by the UK courts such that it finds application across virtually all grounds of revocation. Although lacking a legislative basis, plausibility is rationalised on the grounds that “the patent monopoly should correspond to and be justified by the technical contribution to the art”. Nevertheless, plausibility suffers from many practical, legal and conceptual difficulties—clarity on the nature of the evidential burden; its compatibility and place within the legal framework; and how broader policy concerns should influence its application, are all factors that have yet to be adequately addressed. However, plausibility’s objectives are fundamentally linked to patent law’s conception of the ‘invention’ and arguably should be formulated as such. Adopting this approach would bring greater coherency to the law, and recognise plausibility as a true conditio sine qua non of the patent system.

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