Canadian Risky Business: Why Fair and Predictable Patentable Utility is Critical to Investments and Innovation

Arvie Anderson, Assistant General Patent Counsel, Eli Lilly and Company, USA

Investment in innovation and procurement of patent protection within any jurisdiction is justified by reliance upon fair and predictable patent protection. For new investment within any particular jurisdiction, innovators expect that historically well-settled legal doctrine pertaining to patents that conform to international norms and treaty obligations will remain consistent over time. Applicants also expect that countries will not “move the goalpost” of patentability requirements at some point after patent filing. Innovators have therefore been generally welcoming of patent harmonization which supports efficient and predictable patent protection in the multitude of jurisdictions in which they seek protection . Harmonization is predicated on the concept that an applicant can file a single application which will meet the patentability requirements of most major jurisdictions . Whether an invention relates to a life-changing new medicine or a mechanical device, it is required to possess utility for patentability. Indeed, as one of the most fundamental requirements in patent law, nearly major every jurisdiction excludes from patentability applications for inventions that lack patentable utility . As such, inventors must disclose a practical utility for their inventions upon filing their applications.

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USA Intellectual Property Pharmaceutical July 2012 Vol. 5, No. 20, Summer 2012

Arvie Anderson

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Arvie J. Anderson is Assistant General Patent Counsel at Eli Lilly and Company where he is responsible for managing patent litigation for a number of international jurisdictions including Canada. Arvie has practiced patent law at Lilly for the past 14 years. He received an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997.

Eli Lilly and Company

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Eli Lilly and Company develops innovative medicines for patients around the world.

USA Intellectual Property Pharmaceutical July 2012 Vol. 5, No. 20, Summer 2012