Clear off – is the clearing the way principle still relevant?


Over the last few years the English Patents Court, driven to a large extent by the high prizes at stake in the pharma field, has led the way in innovative approaches to addressing competitors seeking to break into a market developed by the patent holder, leading to concepts such as “clearing the way” before a competitor enters the market and “Arrow”1 declarations where the way is blocked by the spectre of currently not yet granted patents creating further obstacles. Liz Cohen (Associate Member of CIPA) and Adrian Chew provide a fascinating insight into some of the unique economic drivers in the UK pharma market which make new competitors want to rush into the patent fray, and how the law is developing as the Patents Court has the opportunity to explore it further.2

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