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Article by Dr Matt Fisher cited in oral argument before UK Supreme Court in ‘pregabalin’ dispute

19 February 2018

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Work by Dr Matt Fisher, Senior Lecturer at UCL Faculty of Laws, has been extensively referenced in oral argument before the Supreme Court in Warner-Lambert v Generics (UK) Ltd t/a Mylan and another (UKSC 2017/0069). 

The case, heard in the week commencing 12 February 2018, concerns Warner-Lambert’s patent on the use of pregabalin in the treatment of neuropathic pain, and is one of the most significant patent disputes to have been heard in recent years. The case revolves around questions of whether and what role plausibility should play in the statutory test for sufficiency. 

Dr Fisher’s article, ‘Extracting the Price of a Patent: Enablement and Written Description’ [2012] IPQ 261, essentially argues that the patent system lives or dies by the quality of its disclosure: without disclosure there can be no bargain, and without a bargain there should be no patent.

The system is predicated upon assumptions that technological progress is good for society and that the offer of a patent is only justified if knowledge flows from the patentee to the public in the form of sufficient disclosure of the invention.

The case is the second patent case to come before the Supreme Court in the past 12 months, and is also the second in which reference to Dr Fisher’s work has been made in the course of oral argument.   

Watch the hearing (from 30:55 onwards)