The IPKat recently blogged the remarkable decision of the UK's Court of Appeal in Coflexip SA and another v Stolt Offshore MS Ltd  EWCA Civ 213 (see "Yes, You Too Can Infringe an Invalid Patent", 1 March). Basically what happened was that Coflexip had a patent for flexible pipes. It sued Stolt for patent infringement, won and was granted an enquiry into damages. Meanwhile Coflexip's patent was held invalid in proceedings between that company and Rockwater. Stolt tried to get out of paying the damages award, but both the High Court and the Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Neuberger magnificently dissenting) said Stolt still had to pay. The matter has now become somewhat academic, since the Court of Appeal yesterday reversed the decision of the original trial court and said that Coflexip's (now Technip's) patent was valid all along.
The IPKat is sure that Stolt will feel it got a much better deal, now that it knows for sure that the patent it infringed was valid after all.
More about flexible pipe technology here and here. Non-flexible pipes here and here
Friday, 2 April 2004
Posted by Jeremy at 16:44:00