Plastus Kreativ AB v Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co: 1995

English law regards the rules for obtaining negative declaratory relief as being procedural
Aldous J said: ‘For myself I would not welcome the task of having to decide whether a person had infringed a foreign patent. Although patent actions appear on their face to be disputes between two parties, in reality they also concern the public. A finding of infringement is a finding that a monopoly granted by the state is to be enforced. The result is invariably that the public have to pay higher prices than if the monopoly did not exist. If that be the proper result, then that result should, I believe, come about from a decision of a court situated in the state where the public have to pay the higher prices. One only has to imagine a decision of this court that the German public should pay to a British company substantial sums of money to realise the difficulties that might arise. I believe that, if the local courts are responsible for enforcing and deciding questions of validity and infringement, the conclusions reached are likely to command the respect of the public. Also a conclusion that a patent is infringed or not infringed involves in this country a decision on validity as in this country no man can infringe an invalid patent. In the present case the plaintiffs admit the validity of the patent and therefore there is no dispute upon the matter. However, it will be implicit in the judgment of this court that there has been infringement, and that, between the parties, the patent is valid. Thus, I believe it is at least convenient that infringement, like validity, is decided in the state in which it arises.’


Aldous J


[1995] RPC 438


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedR Griggs Group Ltd and others v Evans and others (No 2) ChD 12-May-2004
A logo had been created for the claimants, by an independent sub-contractor. They sought assignment of their legal title, but, knowing of the claimant’s interest the copyright was assigned to a third party out of the jurisdiction. The claimant . .
CitedPoint Solutions Ltd v Focus Business Solutions Ltd and Another ChD 16-Dec-2005
It was claimed that the defendant’s computer software infringed the copyright in software owned by the claimant. A declaration was sought beacause of allegations that assertions about infringement had been made to third parties.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.199523