Dans une décision rendue le 6 novembre dernier, la Cour suprême du Canada a affirmé la décision de la Cour d’appel fédérale et ainsi confirmé la validité du brevet de Sanofi-Synthelabo Canada Inc. et par le fait même l’existence d’un système de brevets de genre (“genus”) et de sélection et qu’elle s’applique Ã toutes les industries.
Concernant l’antériorité, selon la Cour:
“If in reading the genus patent, there is no discovery of the special advantages of the selection patent, the genus patent does not anticipate the selection patent”
En l’absence de divulgation antérieure, on ne peut conclure Ã l’antériorité. En cas de divulgation antérieure, le critère de “caractère réalisable” s’applique alors.
“For â€œenablementâ€, the person skilled in the art must have been able to perform the invention without undue burden.
Concernant l’évidence, l’aspect principale de la décision de la Cour est la notion d'”essai allant de soi” (“obvious to try”).
“The â€œobvious to tryâ€ test really only works where it is more-or-less self-evident that what is being tested ought to work”
If an â€œobvious to tryâ€ test is warranted, the following factors should be taken into consideration at the fourth step of the obviousness inquiry. As with anticipation, this list is not exhaustive. The factors will apply in accordance with the evidence in each case.
(1) Is it more or less self-evident that what is being tried ought to work? Are there a finite number of identified predictable solutions known to persons skilled in the art?
(2) What is the extent, nature and amount of effort required to achieve the invention? Are routine trials carried out or is the experimentation prolonged and arduous, such that the trials would not be considered routine?
(3) Is there a motive provided in the prior art to find the solution the patent addresses?
Double protection (“Double Patenting”)
La Cour suprême confirme que:
“A selection patent that claims a compound that is patentably distinct from the genus patent will not be invalid for obviousness double patenting.”
“While double patenting requires a comparison of the claims of a genus and selection patent, it is necessary that the specification of the selection patent define in clear terms the nature of the characteristic which the patentee alleges to be possessed by the selection for which he claims a monopoly.”