Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int’l Inc. et al. v. Mylan Pharm. Inc. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2018)

The case concerns the analysis of obviousness, when the prior art teaches structurally and functionally similar chemical compounds, proving a definite range and variables for a solution of stability.  The Appeal Court held that prior art ranges for solutions of structurally and functionally similar compounds that overlap with a claimed range can establish a prima facie case of obviousness. If one of the predictable solutions leads to an anticipated success, the outcome was obvious to try.

Actavis Group PTC EHF and others v ICOS Corporation and another (United Kingdom Supreme Court, 2019)

This judgment deals with an appeal submitted to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (hereinafter “the Supreme Court”) that concerns an application of a test of obviousness on a dosage patent under section 3 of the Patents Act 1977. The Court held that the inventiveness of dosage patent claims needs to be determined on a case by case basis and that the routine nature of the research that resulted in the discovery of a lower efficient dose undermines the inventiveness of the claims.

KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. et al., 550 U.S. 398 (2007)

This case concerned the condition of non-obviousness as a prerequisite for patentability. The Supreme Court of the United States (hereinafter: the Court) reinforced the objective analysis approach for applying 35 U.S.C. §103 (i.e. the domestic provision on non-obviousness) as it was established with the three determining factors in Graham v. John Deere.

Graham v. John Deere Co. of Kansas City (United States Supreme Court383 U.S. 1, February 21, 1966)

In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court established that the element of non-obviousness must be assessed with the help of the following factors: (1) the scope and content of prior art, (2) the differences between the prior art and the claims at issue and (3) the level of ordinary skill in the concerned art.  Furthermore, secondary considerations may be commercial success, long felt but unresolved needs or the failure of others to find a solution.

Pharma Dynamics (Pty) Ltd v. Bayer Pharma AG, 2014 (The Supreme Court of Appeals of South Africa)

In this case, the Supreme Court of Appeals interpreted the claims of a pharmaceutical divisional patent and examined its novelty and inventive step. The Court also provided guidance on the admissibility of divisional patents under South African law.

Elan Transdermal Ltd v Ciba Geigy (PTY) Ltd 1994 BP 1 (Court of the Commissioner of Patents, South Africa)

The Court of the Commissioner of Patents in this decision focused on two main issues: (1) the protection of new medical uses of known products under South African patent law and (2) the requirements for prior art to destroy novelty by anticipation.