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Tuesday, 16 March 2004

SHOCK NEWS - PROVISION OF INFORMATION IS PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION

On Friday Laddie J reached an Earth-shattering conclusion: “presentation of information” in s.1(2)(d) of the Patents Act 1977 encompasses providing information. The context was an appeal by a would-be patentee against a decision of the Deputy Director of the Patent Office to refuse an application for a patent for advent calendars. The claim was for a calendar that, as well as having the date on each of the doors, would have an “additional indicium” i.e. some extra information on it stating who was meant to open each of the doors to prevent disputes arising over who would get the chocolate in shared advent calendars. The patentee had argued that while “presentation of information” could mean either the “expression of information” (requiring information to be provided in a particular formation e.g. Times Roman font i.e. how information is provided) or the “provision of information” (the act of communicating information), in the context of the Patents Act, it referred only to the expression of information. According to Laddie J though, the patentee’s argument was contrary to the natural and primary meaning of the words of the act which were unambiguous and clearly encompassed conveying and presenting information. The lack of ambiguity mean that there was no need for any resort to materials such as the French and German versions of the European Patent Convention.

The IPKat congratulates Laddie J on a common-sense decision.

Advent calendars here, here, here and here

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