Julian Cockbain

Julian Cockbain
Ghent University | UGhent

MA, DPhil
Doing a degree in history at UGent Belgium

About

62
Publications
20,235
Reads
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376
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
303 Citations
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Introduction
European Patent Attorney, Independent Researcher. Book on exclusions from patent-eligibility under European Patent Law and various other publications with an emphasis on proper regulation of technology.
Additional affiliations
April 2012 - present
Position
  • Patent attorney
Description
  • Miscellaneous research in patent law
September 1979 - present
Position
  • Patent attorney
Description
  • Teaching trainee patent attorneys, lecturing on patent related matters to university and business audiences
September 1979 - March 2012
Dehns
Position
  • Partner
Education
September 1972 - September 1979
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (62)
Article
Full-text available
This article explores whether 'digital pills' that track medication intake should be used to enhance adherence. We concentrate on psychiatric conditions since these pose unique challenges. We analyze two public policies that potentially encourage the development of systems for remote monitoring of intake, namely the granting of patents and marketin...
Article
A patent is a short-term monopoly granted in relation to an invention by (or for) a country to a patentee who may then ask the national courts of the country to order others to stop using the invention.¹ They are applied for and, if accepted, are granted, whereafter, in certain jurisdictions, others may oppose their grant. If such an opposition is...
Article
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Current methods of genome editing have been steadily realising the once remote possibilities of making effective and realistic genetic changes to humans, animals and plants. To underpin this, only 6 years passed between Charpentier and Doudna’s 2012 CRISPR-Cas9 paper and the first confirmed (more or less) case of gene-edited humans. While the tradi...
Article
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The European Patent Office Enlarged Board of Appeal was asked in April 2019 to answer two questions regarding the exclusions from patentability under Art. 53 European Patent Convention (EPC), the dominant patent law in Europe. The first related to the manner in which EPC Articles should be interpreted, and the second to whether Art. 53 EPC excluded...
Article
23andMe not only sells genetic testing but also uses customer data in its R&D activities and commercial partnerships. This raises questions about transparency and informed consent. Based on a online survey conducted in 2017-18, we examine attitudes of 368 customers of 23andMe toward the company's use of their data. Our findings point at divides in...
Article
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In three earlier articles in this journal, and a post in its blog,¹ I have commented on the Petition for review procedure² established by the 2000 revision of the European Patent Convention (EPC). My interest in the procedure arose as I hoped it might be a way of delaying a final decision against my clients in one of my cases. Reviewing the early c...
Article
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In 2017, regulatory approval was given in the US for a ‘digital pill’, a pill for which actual ingestion could be remotely monitored. The pill, Abilify Mycite is marketed by Otsuka but the monitoring system derives from Proteus Digital Health. In this paper, we focus on this digital pill and another equivalent system from AiCure which relies on fac...
Article
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In 2012, a new and promising gene manipulation technique, CRISPR-Cas9, was announced which seems likely to be a foundational technique in healthcare and agriculture. However, patents have been granted. As with other technological developments, there are concerns of social justice regarding inequalities in access. Given the technologies’ ‘foundation...
Chapter
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The right to access and use one's personal genetic details
Article
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Advancements in the field of biotechnology have accelerated the development of drugs that are manufactured from cultures of living cells, commonly referred to as 'biologics'. Due to the complexity of the production process, generic biologics are unlikely to be chemically identical to the reference product, and accordingly are referred to as 'biosim...
Article
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In 2012, Eli Lilly, a US pharmaceutical corporation, initiated an investor-state arbitral claim against the Canadian government after the Canadian courts invalidated two of Eli Lilly's Canadian patents, claiming that the application of the so-called ‘promise doctrine’ violates international patent law agreements. Even though this is not the first i...
Article
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Intensified and extensive data production and data storage are characteristics of contemporary western societies. Health data sharing is increasing with the growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platforms devoted to the collection of personal health and genomic data. However, the sensitive and personal nature of health data poses...
Article
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In this piece, we comment on the article by Pearce earlier in this journal. As Pearce correctly points out, what is fundamentally at issue in ESHRE et al's opposition to Stanford University's European patent on time-lapse microscopy is whether an exclusion from patentability, here of methods of medical diagnosis, should be interpreted narrowly or n...
Article
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In 2013, a European Patent for the time-lapse microscopy was granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) to Stanford University and was subsequently opposed by Unisense FertiliTech A/S and by the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Sigrid Sterckx, Julian Cockbain and Guido Pennings. ESHRE et al.'s opposition was based on...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we review recent developments in patent law in the US and Europe in relation to the patenting of ‘isolated’ human body materials, noting the tension in patent law between its general aspiration of promoting the (bio) economy while at the same time ring-fencing products of nature from effective monopolisation by patentees. Central to...
Article
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An ‘Information Centre’ has recently been established by law which has the power to collect, collate and provide access to the medical information for all patients treated by the National Health Service in England, whether in hospitals or by General Practitioners. This so-called ‘care.- data’ scheme has given rise to major and ongoing controversies...
Article
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Since the adoption of the WTO‐TRIPS Agreement in 1994, there has been significant controversy over the impact of pharmaceutical patent protection on the access to medicines in the developing world. In addition to the market exclusivity provided by patents, the pharmaceutical industry has also sought to further extend their monopolies by advocating...
Article
Full-text available
An ‘Information Centre’ has recently been established by law which has the power to collect, collate and provide access to the medical information for all patients treated by the National Health Service in England, whether in hospitals or by General Practitioners. This so-called ‘care.data’ scheme has given rise to major and ongoing controversies....
Article
Full-text available
18 H uman organs and tissues differ in regard to their clinical and research uses and the regulatory legislation controlling their use. Organs such as livers and hearts are usually taken from donors who are brain-dead; in addition, kidneys can also come from live volunteers. Organs decay rapidly and need to be transplanted quickly. Surgeons and coo...
Article
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The UK National Health Service (the ‘NHS’), encouraged by the 2011 report Innovation Health and Wealth, Accelerating Adoption and Diffusion in the NHS, and empowered by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, is in the process of adopting a new agenda for stimulating innovation in healthcare. For this, the bodies, body materials, and confidential heal...
Article
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Article
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European Patent No. 2430454 of Stanford University is open to opposition before the European Patent Office if such opposition is filed by 23 October 2013. This is the European equivalent of the US Patent that raised such controversy in this journal in August 2013 as being a patent on time. The European Patent, which is directed to a method of selec...
Article
Julian Cockbain is a Consultant European Patent Attorney based in Oxford, UK.In two earlier articles in this journal 1,2 the author has provided guidance to parties to appeals before the European Patent Office (EPO) as to how to avoid having to have recourse to the petition 3 route should they fail on appeal and how to maximize their chances of suc...
Article
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Purpose: Recently, 23andMe announced that it had obtained its first patent, related to "polymorphisms associated with Parkinson's disease" (US-B-8187811). This announcement immediately sparked controversy in the community of 23andMe users and research participants, especially with regard to issues of transparency and trust. The purpose of this art...
Book
Full-text available
Exclusions from Patentability reviews the history of the adoption of exclusions from patentability under the European Patent Convention since its first conception in 1949 through to its most recent revision. The analysis shows how other intellectual property treaties, such as UPOV, the Strasbourg Patent Convention, PCT, the EU Biotech Directive and...
Article
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In 2010, the biotechnology and molecular diagnostics industries were shocked by the decision from a US District Court to the effect that isolated endogenous DNA and diagnostic tests based on newly discovered DNA sequences were not eligible for US patents. The case related to the BRCA1/2 genes for breast and ovarian cancer. On appeal, the decision w...
Article
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Legal Context The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) of the European Patent Office in May 2010 handed down its opinion on a referral by the former President of the EPO, Alison Brimelow, on the patentability of computer-related inventions, more particularly computer programs.
Article
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In a recent decision (AMP v. USPTO) from the US District Court, patent claims directed at DNA sequences corresponding to human genes and to diagnostic tests based on such genes have been found to be invalid, primarily on the basis that the DNA molecules claimed, which included cDNA, primers and probes, are 'products of nature' and are thus unpatent...
Article
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The European Patent Convention (EPC), which governs the grant of European patents by the European Patent Office (EPO), forbids the grant of patents for methods of medical treatment. In 1984, in an attempt to find a manner in which European patents could be granted to those who found new medical treatments using existing drug compounds, the Enlarged...
Article
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A US District Court has called into question the validity of patents directed to DNA sequences and diagnostic methods based on such sequences. If upheld on appeal, the District Court ruling will severely impair the ability of universities and the biotech industry to patent their inventions, raise capital and maintain share prices. Since the reasoni...
Article
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Myriad
Article
While the commonly advanced justification for patents on pharmaceuticals –that without a period of monopoly to recoup research and development costs, no company would invest the sums necessary to bring a drug to market– may hold for new drugs or for old drugs to be used to treat new ailments, that justification is much less sustainable where an old...
Article
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In late 2008, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) reached a decision supporting the rejection of a patent application on human embryonic stem cells filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). This article comments on some of the shortcomings of the decision. The key legal provisions at issue in this case w...
Article
Full-text available
Legal context With the amendment to the European Patent Convention which came into effect in December 2007, there arrived the possibility for those unhappy with a decision by one of the European Patent Office's Boards of Appeal to petition the Enlarged Board of Appeal to review the decision, and return the case for re-hearing. Key points The groun...
Article
Full-text available
After the introduction we discuss the European Patent Convention (EPC) provisions that are relevant to the exclusion from patentability of computer programs and the broader relevance of the fact that the European Patent Office’s (EPO’s) Enlarged Board of Appeal has recently been requested by the EPO President to interpret these provisions. Next, we...
Article
The EPO consideration of the patentability of human embryonic stem cells

Questions

Questions (9)
Question
Please will you send me links to anything you have come across that relates to the questions of : (i) can/should AI-derived work be IPR protected? and
(ii) can/should an AI be seen as creative to the extent that IPR come into play?
Yes, DABUS, but I haven't seen everything over DABUS, so please send it (preferably downloadable).
(iii) there are Masters and PhD theses, and publications thereof out there - please send them in.
I take IPR and patentability seriously - look at my publications. This is a request for help to find more , not a Masters' student's request that you do her work for her. If, like a certain German PhD student, you have finished, but not yet submitted, just tell me and I will keep YOUR insights private until you publish.
My name is Julian Cockbain, and for the last two decades my primary concern has been 'just what should the state protect, if anything, in relation to immaterial 'things''?
Question
This relates to whether methods of cancer diagnosis are patentable - see under my other discussion if you think yes
Question
Under European patent law, methods of (medical) diagnosis are not patentable. Under the case law of the European Patent Office, a method is not one of diagnosis if (a) the condition diagnosed is not a disease (eg pregnancy) or (b) there is no cure to the condition (eg (in the past) Ebola. I am trying to get the European Patent Office to change its case law on this - however, no-one else seems to be interested. Have you comments? (you can email direct at Julian.cockbane@btopenworld.com). If you want to look at the details see my papers on researchgate - it is all there. Please comment.
Question
Copyright is author's life plus 70-odd years. What if the author is a machine? US patent applications have to be filed by the inventors. What if the inventor is a machine? If something has the capacity to invent or create, can it (think slaves) be property, with its creations automatically belonging to the machine owner? Do we grant copyrights and patents in order to encourage creation by humans who might otherwise go and drink another IPA? If so, since these machines don't drink stout, why give them IP rights?

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Projects

Projects (7)
Archived project
The falling cost of genome sequencing is making genetic information more easily accessible to the ordinary citizen, but has also led to a proliferation of different actors and stakeholders. DNA Emerging possibilities relating to the generation and interpretation of genetic data represent a tremendous opportunity as well as a new challenge for society. The public health care system will increasingly be asked to provide interpretation and counselling relating to genetic information that has been generated privately. It is also becoming necessary to satisfy the legitimate interests of participants regarding knowledge gained about individuals and populations in large-scale population genetic research. Existing ethical and regulatory frameworks are not currently designed to allow both an efficient and ethical meeting of demand and supply of genetic knowledge regarding health, or the effective interaction between public and private actors to the benefit of individuals and society.