For the first time, in Eli Lilly v Actavis the UK Supreme Court has introduced a doctrine of equivalence in an effort to move closer to harmonising UK patent laws with those of continental Europe. 

Doctrines of equivalence (which extend the scope of a patent beyond the literal interpretation of its claim) are found in many EU Countries, but different countries apply different tests. 

This was discussed in a panel at the 2017 Life Sciences IP Summit 2017 held in October 2017 in Munich, click here, with the participation of Claire Bennett, DLA Piper partner in the London office, Bernd Hutter, Vice President, Head of Intellectual Property at MorphoSys AG and myself. 

With thoughts from multiple jurisdictions (mainly Italy and Germany  in continental Europe and United Kingdom), we discussed the different approaches across Europe and the implications to Life Science businesses.

The most recent developments in Germany are outlined in the link