Chan v Jeffcoat (Patent): IPO 20 Jun 2001

IPO The patent concerned a non-woven fabric used primarily for wound dressing. The parties had discussed such a wound dressing in 1993, and in 1994 a company was formed to carry on the business of development and production of wound dressings, with the parties as shareholders. The defendant was managing director and had approached a patent attorney in January 1995. The patent application was filed on 27 June 1995, but the defendant resigned from the company a few days later. The claimant alleged that he had developed the invention during 1994 at the defendants request, whereas the defendant stated that she had developed the invention prior to 1994, had involved the claimant to some extent during further development of the invention, and did not assign any right in the invention to the company formed in that year. On the evidence, the hearing officer decided that the invention was made at least in embryo form by the defendant prior to the setting up of the company. He held that the claimant had failed to discharge the onus on him to prove his case, and had not shown evidence either that his contributions to the further development of the invention were sufficient for him to be considered sole or joint inventor, or that the invention had been assigned to him or to the company. The applications under sections 13(1), 13(3) and 37(1) were therefore refused.
Mr G M Bridges
[2001] UKIntelP o27101, O/271/01, GB2302669
Patents Act 1977 13(1) 13(3) 37(1)

Updated: 28 March 2021; Ref: scu.454235