B alleged infringement by M of its patented nebulizer. M replied saying that the claims failed for obviousness. Features of the nebulizer were admittedly old and well known, but the claimant asserted a new mechanism which reduced the size of the droplets, increasing its efficiency. Held: The patent was invalid for obviousness. Laddie J set … Continue reading Brugger v Medic-Aid Ltd (No 2): ChD 1996
The claimants had made several Star Wars films for which the defendants had designed various props items. The parties disputed ownership of the rights in the designs, and in articular of a stormtrooper helmet. The issues came down to whether the defendant had rights to reproduce images under sections 51 and 52. The claimants appealed … Continue reading Lucasfilm Ltd and Others v Ainsworth and Another: CA 16 Dec 2009
The claimant had produced the Star War films which made use of props, in particular a ‘Stormtrooper’ helmet designed by the defendant. The defendant had then himself distributed models of the designs he had created. The appellant obtained judgment against the respondent in the US for punitive damages, but these had not been collected, and … Continue reading Lucasfilm Ltd and Others v Ainsworth and Another: SC 27 Jul 2011
Testing Validity of a Patent A patent was challenged where the windsurf board had been shown as a primitive prototype to have been built and used in public by a twelve year old boy. The court set out the four steps required to be taken when ascertaining the validity of a patent: ‘The first is … Continue reading Windsurfing International Inc v Tabur Marine (Great Britain) Limited: CA 1985
The court discussed the personal liability of a director for torts committed by his company: ‘i) a director will not be treated as liable with the company as a joint tortfeasor if he does no more than carry out his constitutional role in the governance of the company–that is to say, by voting at board … Continue reading MCA Records Inc and Another v Charly Records Ltd and others (No 5): CA 5 Oct 2001
AI created Invention is not Patentable The case appears to be about artificial intelligence and whether AI-based machines can make patentable inventions – correct processing of application Held: The appeal failed. On the face of the Form 7s he filed, Dr Thaler did not comply with either of the requirements laid down by section 13(2), … Continue reading Thaler v Comptroller General of Patents Trade Marks and Designs: CA 21 Sep 2021
The plaintiffs had been established as market leaders with their patented construction, had ample production capacity and stocks, but had never granted any licence under their patent. The patent was for a novel type of galvanised steel lintel, which the relevant claim described as including a rear support back plate ‘extending vertically’ from a horizontal … Continue reading Catnic Components Ltd and Another v Hill and Smith Ltd: HL 1982
Contractor and Client Copyrights The plaintiff had contributed a design for a system of classifying and selecting tracks to be played on a radio station. He did so under a consultancy contract. Held: A Joint authorship claim required that the contributor had made some direct contribution to the words appearing in the eventual published item. … Continue reading Robin Ray v Classic FM Plc: PatC 18 Mar 1998
The validity of certain United Kingdom legislation was challenged on the basis that it contravened provisions of the EEC Treaty by depriving the applicants of their Community rights to fish in European waters, and an interlocutory injunction was sought against the Secretary of State to restrain enforcement of that law pending a reference. The House … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame (No 2): HL 11 Oct 1990
A wall plaque was published before 1950. Its design was an original artistic work but was produced for the purpose of reproduction by an industrial process. It was not registered as an industrial design under the applicable designs legislation . .
Lord Templeman said: ‘The appellants’ submissions are, in essence, based on the proposition that if a product is worth copying, the law should protect the product against being copied. My Lords, that is not the law. In British Leyland Motor . .
Judgment on the trial of a preliminary issue in a registered design action – threats claim . .
The claimant appealed against refusal of a committal order to enforce a court order in patent infringement proceedings.
Held: Viscount Simonds said: ‘Thus it is, my Lords, that upon what was a motion for sequestration and committal your . .
Dyson argued that the defendant’s imported vacuum cleaners infringed their registered designs. . .
Landlords took possession after a successful, at first instance, forfeiture claim. The tenant succeeded on appeal and then brought a claim for the wrong of breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment.
Held: The lease had been in existence all . .
Car parts which had no effect on appearance and were merely parts were not registerable as Registered Designs.
The section applies only to items of design which will have their own independent use, and not only as part of a larger item. . .
A patent for a method of producing asbestos cement was challenged for obviousness.
Diplock LJ considered that a development should be treated as obvious if ‘the person versed in the art would assess the likelihood of success as sufficient to . .
Lloyd LJ added to the guidance at first instance:
‘In each case sufficiency will thus be a question of fact and degree, depending on the nature of the invention and the other circumstances of the case.
But if a working definition is required . .
The court considered the test for deciding what degree of knowledge, skill and perseverance the skilled man was assumed to have as a ground for revocation of a patent on the associated basis. There had been a mistake in the specification of the . .
A claim was brought for the infringement of a patent. It was brought after the specification had been published, but before the patent had been sealed.
Held: Time might run from a date before the plaintiff was entitled to sue. The cause of . .
The invention was based upon the discovery that an arcuate rod with slits, when rotated at high speed, would take the hair off the skin by means of the opening and closing of the slits. The claim was to a rod in the form of an ‘helical spring’ but . .
‘legislative antecedents’ may in some circumstances constitute relevant background for the interpretation of statutes in pari materia. Words in a preamble cannot of themselves restrict the scope of enacting words, where the latter are wider or more . .
Birmingham Corporation secured development of a large area by building agreements which granted leases on completion of the buildings to their builders. One builder, Daniell, erected a building to a height of 48 feet, and assigned his interest under . .
An optional feature of a crimping machine, namely a ‘stop’, was incorporated as an essential feature in an amendment made after acceptance of the patent specification. The question arose whether the amendment was a disclaimer for the purposes of . .
The plaintiffs had alleged patent infringement and now sought to recover the costs of the action it had had to take for discovery as against HM Customs and Excise, which they said had been necessary to discover the extent of the concealed fraud . .
A patent infingement claim was met by the assertion that the material covered had been disclosed before the patent had been obtained. The court was asked as to the test of whether the information in a claim had been disclosed. Aldous J said: ‘Mr. . .
The claimant said that the defendant had, through its members visiting their premises, breached the licence under which they entered, by taking photographs and distributing them on the internet, and in so doing also infringing the performance rights . .
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The claimant had in the past obtained an injunction to prevent the defendant broadcasting without their licence musical works belonging to their members at his nightclub. The defendant had obtained a licence, but had not renewed it. The claimants in . .
The claimants suspected the defendants of wrongfully using their confidential information. Their staff made an initial investigation. They obtained a search and seizure order; and the material seized was examined by the staff. A Tomlin Order was . .