Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Patent Delay Costs - Patent Management Principles

Frank Joffe and Theo du Preez (Bowman Gilfillan) have neatly explained in Juta Business Law the need to correct defective patents (where possible) in South Africa as soon as they become aware that the South African patent may be defective. If this seems obvious and not new then the lesson provided by the case of Lundbeck A/S and Lundbeck SA (Pty) Ltd v CIPLA Medpro (Pty) Ltd (discussed in the article) will illustrate how easy it is to fall foul of the principle and also remind you that best practice patent management is not determined by acceptability criteria for the underlying rights. In a jurisdiction like South Africa which, as Joffe and Du Preez explain, is a depository system, errors in specifications may not be uncovered during the examination process prior to grant leaving one with the possible unenviable task (if you do not adopt the principle) of attempting to correct errors when/if the patent is enforced under scrutiny of the opponent.

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