This is a guest post from Bill Bennett of Pizzeys in Australia. It covers Apotex Pty Ltd v Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd  HCA 50 (4 December 2013). (A copy of the full decision is available at the end of this post.)
The Australian High Court has handed down a 4:1 majority decision confirming that a method of medical treatment can be a “manner of manufacture” (i.e. patentable subject matter). This is the first time that this issue has been directly considered by the Australian High Court.
Sanofi is the owner of a patent which claims a method of preventing or treating psoriasis by using a compound called leflunomide.
Apotex registered leflunomide on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods with the intention of selling it for the purpose of treating rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Most persons with psoriatic arthritis either have, or will develop, psoriasis. Thus, the treatment of psoriatic arthritis will often simultaneously involve the treatment of psoriasis.