Ancare New Zealand Limited v Fort Dodge New Zealand and Nufarm Limited: PC 6 Feb 2002

(New Zealand) The appellant challenged the repeal of its patent for obviousness. The patent was for a treatment for tapeworms in sheep. The judge had found that anyone knowing the prior art, would know that the formula selected was to be tried. It was claimed however that the treatment was against a background that it was thought that there was no scientific purpose in such treatment. Later developments established the need.
Held: This did not remove the fatal defect that the preparation was obvious. To hold otherwise would allow anyone who adopted an obvious method for doing something which was widely practised but which the best scientific opinion thought was pointless could obtain a patent.


Lord Steyn Lord Hoffmann Lord Millett Lord Rodger of Earlsferry Sir Christopher Slade


Appeal No 32 of 2001, [2002] UKPC 8


Ancare New Zealand Lim’ target=’_n’>PC, Bailii, PC


Patents Act 1953 (New Zealand) 41(1)(f)

Commonwealth, Intellectual Property

Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.167738