Feeds

Patent oracle speaks

Brits pull the rug from under patent lawyers

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The UK Patent Office has given its first verdicts on the fast track opinion service it launched last year to save modest patent holders being bullied by more powerful corporate inventors in disputes.

Say, for example, you have invented (with the humble resources at hand in your garden shed) a propeller-powered levitation device that carries out its functions through a mount placed on a baseball hat, and proudly registered a patent.

Any Silicon Valley ruffian who fancies your invention for his corporation could intimidate you with a confusing imitation of your own patent and a lorry-load of lawyers.

If, however, you slipped the UK patent office two hundred quid, they would look into it for you and let you know whether you've stepped on someone's toes or some tyrant is trying it on.

Of course, it is more likely to be the case of mere misunderstanding or disagreement over the true meaning that should be derived from the arcane language used by lawyers and patent officers, as was the likely case in the three opinions the patent office has just delivered.

Patent Office examiner John Rowlatt deftly disarmed a running patent dispute with the observation that Mr Jeremy David Lenighan's patent for a shower screen that attaches to a bath will only be infringed by Heritage Bathroom's Showerbath screen if, like his own invention, it is prevented from swinging out over the bath by the sealing strip.

In another case, Danish patent holder Novo Nordisk A/S sought to discover whether its patent for cartidge syringes was novel and inventive compared to a host of other similarly registered patents in the US and Europe.

After a lengthy exposition on the matter, Rebecca Villis, Patent Office examiner, concluded that just two of 20 claims made by Novo Nordisk about its syringe patent were trite. This would likely give the firm every confidence in defending its inventor's dignity against any chancers who might steal its thunder.

Finally, Mr Alan John Mackinder, who was concerned that his patent for spotting speeding cars using a satellite and grassing the misdemeanour to the fuzz, was infringed by Blackspot Interactive's Road Angel Navigator.

The Patent Office's Eamonn Quirk examined the case and formed the opinion that Mr Mackinder had no claim for infringement, probably saving him a lot of wasted time and money fighting the claim in court. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?