Wednesday, 8 October 2008

One out of two for Gore

Decided yesterday in the Patents Court for England and Wales was W L Gore & Associates GmbH v Geox SpA, [2008] EWHC 2311 (Pat), heard by Mr Justice Floyd. The action brough by Gore was for (i) declarations of non-infringement and (ii) invalidity against two patents belonging to arch-competitor Geox. The decision, which went largely in favour of Geox (both patents were valid and only one was not infringed), was long on facts and relatively short on law. On the issue of inventive step the judge cited the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in H. Lundbeck A/S v Generics (UK) Limited [2008] EWCA Civ 311 in which Lord Hoffmann (sitting as a member of the Court of Appeal) approved, without qualification, the following statement of principle by Kitchin J:
"The question of obviousness must be considered on the facts of each case. The court must consider the weight to be attached to any particular factor in the light of all the relevant circumstances. These may include such matters as the motive to find a solution to the problem the patent addresses, the number and extent of the possible avenues of research, the effort involved in pursuing them and the expectation of success."

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