- Primed and ready (or not)—Arnold LJ warns patent profession (Akebia Therapeutics v Fibrogen)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
IP analysis: Judges in complex patent cases, particularly involving life science patents, need to understand the underlying technology to draw the correct conclusions. Evidence, often given by Nobel prizewinners and nominees, considers cutting-edge inventions sometimes in the light of prior art publications that are themselves at the forefront of medicinal innovation. Coupled with a bewildering array of acronyms for jargon relating to disease related symptoms, judges need all the help they can get. It is, therefore, unsurprising that in a decision of 137 pages’ length, Arnold LJ (sitting as a High Court judge) has given warning about the failure of the legal teams to assist him properly to understand the mechanistic pathways the subject of the case. He gave further criticism about cross-examination, and about the instruction of experts. This analysis considers what lessons must be heeded by patent professionals and why the judge felt moved to comment. Written by Paul A Harris, senior partner (IP Litigation) at Venner Shipley LLP.
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