This Practice Note examines the two principal research exemptions to patent infringement available under UK law, namely, the general experimental use exemption (sometime referred to as the experimental use defence) and the specific ‘Bolar-type’ exemption. It discusses what is required in order to benefit from these exceptions to infringement under section 60(5) and (6) of the Patents Act 1977 (PA 1977), relevant case law such as Meter-Tech v British Gas and practical considerations, eg how to deal with suppliers in contracts and research tools. This Practice Note also discusses the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) manufacturing waiver and the European Commission’s 2017 impact assessment in relation to possible legislative proposals aimed at improving the EU’s industrial property legal framework in relation to patent research exemptions.
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