Sufficiency, together with the other requirements for patent protection – namely, novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability, ensures that the patent bargain is struck.
In Singapore, insufficiency is a ground for patent revocation under section 80(1) of the Singapore Patents Act (Cap. 221) (“the Act”). Whilst the Singapore courts previously only recognised classical insufficiency, the Court of Appeal has now – in the case of Ila Technologies Pte Ltd v Element Six Technologies Pte Ltd  SGCA 5 (“Element Six”), also recognised insufficiency arising from uncertainty. In this article, we examine this decision and its takeaways.
The parties are competitors in the diamond business. The subject patent in the appeal – which belongs to Element Six - discloses a new synthetic diamond material having specified properties, and included both product and process claims. In the first instance, Element Six had asserted two patents against Ila. The subject patent was found to be valid and infringed, whilst the other patent was found to be invalid for lacking novelty and/or inventive step. Ila appealed against the findings relating to the subject patent. Element Six did not cross-appeal. Consequently, the Court of Appeal was only concerned with one patent. Read more