Valensi v British Radio Corporation: CA 1973

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 invention.
Buckley LJ said: ‘We think that the effect of these cases as a whole is to show that the hypothetical addressee is not a person of exceptional skill and knowledge, that he is not to be expected to exercise any invention nor any prolonged research, inquiry or experiment. He must, however, be prepared to display a reasonable degree of skill and common knowledge of the art in making trials and to correct obvious errors in the specification if a means of correcting them can readily be found.’
and: ‘Further, we are of the opinion that it is not only inventive steps that cannot be required of the addressee. While the addressee must be taken as a person with a will to make the instructions work, he is not to be called upon to make a prolonged study of matters which present some initial difficulty: and, in particular, if there are actual errors in the specification-if the apparatus really will not work without departing from what is described-then, unless both the existence of the error and the way to correct it can quickly be discovered by an addressee of the degree of skill and knowledge which we envisage, the description is insufficient.’


Buckley LJ


[1973] RPC 337


Patents Act 1949


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSynthon Bv v Smithkline Beecham Plc HL 20-Oct-2005
Synthon filed an international application for a patent. Before it was published, SB filed a similar application in the UK patents registry. Synthon had applied for the UK patent granted to SB to be revoked. Jacob J had found that the reader of the . .
CitedHerbert Berry Associates Ltd v Inland Revenue Commissioners CA 2-Jan-1976
The word ‘proceedings’ meant the ‘invocation of the jurisdiction of a court by process other than writ’. . .
CitedMentor Corporation v Hollister Incorporated ChD 1991
The court considered the meaning of the phrase a ‘person skilled in the art’ in the context of a patent claim.
Aldous J said: ‘The section requires the skilled man to be able to perform the invention, but does not lay down the limits as to the . .
CitedMentor Corporation v Hollister Incorporated CA 1993
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.231507