Neutrokine-α -- now on a screen near YOU!

Merpel still thinks we're taking
about  g-nomes, not genomes ...
There is no truth in the rumour that this weblog is recruiting a drama critic. However, readers may wish to note the source of this scurrilous speculation. The United Kingdom's Supreme Court is currently hearing the appeal in an important patent case, Human Genome Sciences Inc v Eli Lilly and Company UKSC 2010/0047.  The background, and the Court of Appeal's judgment against which the appeal has been lodged, can be read here. The Supreme Court summarises the matter before it thus:

Whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to apply principles of law established by the European Patent Office in relation to article 57 of the European Patent Convention, thereby wrongly concluding that the patent in suit was invalid because the specification did not disclose an invention capable of industrial application.


The appellant is the proprietor of European Patent (UK) 0 939 804 in respect of a protein, Neutrokine-α, identified as a member of the THF ligand superfamily. The respondent commenced proceedings both in the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office and in the High Court for the revocation of the patent. The Court of Appeal upheld the order of the High Court revoking the patent, whereas the appeal against the revocation order in the European Patent Office was allowed".
The IPKat's good friend Robert Hurst has just told him that this hearing -- which began yesterday and is scheduled to finish tomorrow -- can be viewed live via the Supreme Court website here.  If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse or two of that popular star of stage and screen Simon Thorley QC elaborating on the bases of Human Genome Sciences Inc's appeal.

Merpel notes that, of the five judges in the Supreme Court, three (Lords Neuberger, Walker and Collins) have had some genuine experience of hearing patent cases in their earlier lives. Is three out of five a new British record, she wonders?

Politically topical footnote: this service is brought to us by Sky News. This service is owned by British Sky Broadcasting (in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation owns a controlling 39.1% stake. It is also partially owned by ... News Corporation.
Neutrokine-α -- now on a screen near YOU! Neutrokine-α -- now on a screen near YOU! Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Fascinating to watch Penny Gilbert's reactions to what counsel is saying.

  2. Live broadcast from the Supreme Court will compete head to head with the Murdochs at 2.30 live broadcast from the House ...

  3. If you watched the Murdoch show, you may have noticed Lord Grabiner QC taking notes behind James Murdoch. Is he the most expensive secretary in history? Some years ago I read that he charged £3,000 per hour.


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