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Retaining the Catnic/Improver Approach in Patent Law

Ching Yu Jin Bryan

(2018) 30 SAcLJ 871

In 2017, the UK Supreme Court departed from an established line of authorities by introducing the doctrine of equivalents in patent law. Under this doctrine, courts are permitted to find infringement where the defendant’s product/process contains minor or insubstantial variations from the patented invention, even though the variants do not fall within the language of the patent claim. Although the Singapore Court of Appeal has declined to adopt the doctrine, it is prudent for our legislators to consider whether it should be introduced if it furthers Singapore’s aspiration to be a global intellectual property hub in Asia.