Feeds

Patent oracle speaks

Brits pull the rug from under patent lawyers

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
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.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.