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UK Supreme Court introduces doctrine of equivalents in patent law in Actavis v Lilly

Overview

In a landmark decision (Actavis v Eli Lilly), the UK Supreme Court has re-steered the law of patent infringement in the UK, stating that there is a doctrine of equivalents.

Allowing Eli Lilly's appeal, it concluded Actavis' proposed pemetrexed medicines directly infringed Eli Lilly's patent, and expressly permitted recourse by the courts to the prosecution file in appropriate, limited circumstances. This article examines the case in detail.