Total Documents: 3


Highlights from the UK Patents Court 2022: Validity

Document No: PUB 20F/22 Posted: 06 March 2023
It is almost invariably the case that a standard patent dispute should entail the question of infringement and validity. Leaving the updates on Infringement to fellow IP Federation associate Alex Calver of WilmerHale, we will focus on validity.


The principles governing the assessment of obviousness have been looked at by the courts in some depth in recent years. Fundamentally there is a single question. Is it obvious? Aside from the question as to whether it is possible to infer the nature of the skilled person from what the specification assumes about his/her abilities (Meade J said no in Optis v Apple, Mellor J said yes in Alcon v AMO), we have a fairly extensive and consistent body of case law explaining the law on obviousness and illustrating its application. The attribution of the characteristics of a skilled person is an important point though, as noted by Birss J (as he was then) in the Illumina case: “It would be wrong and unfair to the public to define a team so widely that that their common general knowledge is so dilute as to make something seem less obvious than it really was”. Defining the attributes of a skilled person would equally impact the assessment of sufficiency, as noted by Mellor J in Alcon v AMO.