Pfizer Limited v Medimpex Jamaica Limited and another, Privy Council, 3 July 2014,  UKPC 20, Lord Neuberger, Lord Sumption, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge and Sir David Kitchin
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) dismissed Pfizer’s appeal from the Court of Appeal of Jamaica’s decision that Pfizer’s Jamaican patent for amlopidine besylate (an antihypertensive drug) was invalid. The invalidity claim had been filed by companies selling generic versions of the drug in Jamaica, which Pfizer had claimed infringed its patent. Sir David Kitchin gave the unanimous decision of the JCPC, which depended on two key issues.
One was whether the person who applied for the patent (which he later assigned to Pfizer) was doing so on his own behalf or on behalf of Pfizer (in effect, as an agent). The second related to the fact that Jamaican patent law (the Patents Act 1857) is concerned with local novelty and, therefore, allows “invention by importation” (which Sir David noted “may seem somewhat surprising to those familiar only with the provisions of the European Patent Convention” although it was a feature of UK law until 1978).