oa De Rebus - Marine 3 v Afrigroup : patent utility interpreted by the Supreme Court of Appeal : opinion
It is a basic tenet of patent law that an invention must have utility in order to be capable of patent protection. This principle is recognised by the Patents Act 57 of 1978 (the current Act) as one of the essential requirements of patentability and thus a lack of utility is a ground of revocation of a patent. However, to date, this ground of revocation has not received much judicial attention. This has changed in a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Marine 3 Technologies Holdings (Pty) Ltd v Afrigroup Investments (Pty) Ltd and Another 2015 (2) SA 387 (SCA). Unfortunately the decision is based on what is, in my opinion, an erroneous interpretation of the provisions of the current Act.
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