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Patent Court up in ‘arms’ over the inventive step and infringement by an equivalent (JCB v Manitou)

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This article was first published on Lexis®PSL.

Patent Court up in ‘arms’ over the inventive step and infringement by an equivalent (JCB v Manitou)

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This case involved the assessment of four patents owned by JCB. JCB alleged that the patents had been infringed by Manitou who then counterclaimed for their revocation. The judgment contains a detailed analysis of the validity of the patents. The case also discusses the challenges involved in identifying the inventive step. His Honour Judge (HHJ) Hacon also considered the assessment of infringement, including a claim for infringement by an equivalent. Three of the patents (EP 065, EP 965 and GB 595) were invalidated for obviousness over the prior art. The fourth patent (EP 382) however was deemed to be valid and held to have been infringed by Manitou. Interestingly, much of the analysis regarding the inventive concept and infringement by an equivalent was addressed in a confidential annex. As a result, some of the rationale behind the judgment is not public.

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