Feeds

Patent oracle speaks

Brits pull the rug from under patent lawyers

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.