The IPKat has been kindly sent by Richard Davis a copy of a judgment issued this morning by Mr Justice Lewison in the Patents Court, in the matter of two UK patent applications in the names of CVON Innovations Limited and AT&T Knowledge Ventures LP. Both applications were refused last year by the UK-IPO in separate decisions (O/240/08 and O/190/08, respectively).
Both AT&T and CVON had their applications refused on the grounds that the claimed inventions were not patentable under section 1(2) of the Patents Act 1977. The judgment, as might be expected, goes over the familiar Court of Appeal judgments in this area, and the corresponding developing line of case law by the EPO boards of appeal, from Vicom to Duns. The outcome will be familiar to anyone who has been following the s1(2) decisions coming out of the UK-IPO over the past couple of years, in that both appeals were dismissed.
This Kat has not been able to distil any particular points to note from the judgment, mainly because he is concentrating more on other things. His interest was, however, piqued by the following statement early on:
"If I may venture two comments at this stage: first, asking what the inventor has added to human knowledge necessarily means that the questioner has some notion of the state of the art. In other words, patentability cannot be put into a watertight compartment completely separate from novelty. Second, in Aerotel the court did not elucidate what it meant by 'technical'"(para 8).As regular readers will know, these two points are, in the IPKat's view, the key to the whole problem of whether certain inventions are patentable or not. The IPKat would like to leave it to any commenters willing to delve more into the details of the case (a copy of which is available on the Kat's Google Groups website here) to determine whether we do in fact get any clarification of these tricky areas, or if perhaps we will have to wait for another day and another court judgment.