In memoriam Dr Alan White

The IPKat is saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Alan White and send our condolences to his friends, family and colleagues. We share below a short obituary and details of the funeral, kindly sent to us by Stephen Jones, and Alan's daughter, Hilary. 

Dr Alan White
Dr Alan White, who has died suddenly aged 90, was a man or irrepressible energy; one of those who seemed to be able to do more with the hours in the day than ought to be feasible. His contribution to the understanding of patent law through his editorship of the CIPA Guide to the Patents Acts and his monthly case reports in the CIPA journal cannot be overstated.

Alan was a patent attorney and a solicitor and worked both in house and at Allen & Overy. He was involved in many significant patent cases over his long career. For many years, and long before it was possible to access law reports from one’s own desk, Alan diligently attended the Science Reference Library to compile the Reports on Patent Cases for the CIPA Journal. These were and remain an invaluable resource for practitioners, covering as they do the decisions of the Patent Office, as well as those of the courts before they appear in the official Law Reports. The CIPA Guide “The Black Book” was maintained and expanded under Alan’s editorship over a 30-year period, and continues to be an invaluable resource for all practitioners of patent law to this day. 

A fuller obituary will appear in the next issue of the CIPA Journal. 

A service of Celebration of Alan’s life will be held on Thursday 9th November 2023 at 2pm at St Mary’s Church, Church Road, Long Ditton, Surbiton KT6 5HH. Please refer to this link for further information. 

In memoriam Dr Alan White In memoriam Dr Alan White Reviewed by Hayleigh Bosher on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I'm afraid I am unable to provide a link to it, but many years ago Alan White wrote an article which proposed abolition of product claims for substances. Essentially he was saying that the monopoly provided by a product claim to a substance is too broad given that substances will provide many technical effects beyond the invention. Instead a use or method claim should suffice, focusing on the specific technical effect which gave rise to the invention. Unfortunately the development of patent law cannot readily encompass 'policy' ideas like this, and everyone wants the broadest claims possible, and so the suggestion did not go anywhere as with so many other good suggestions that would have improved the system. The world needs many more people like Alan White who tirelessly work to improve things for others.


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