Patently obvious?

Opinion

Patently obvious?

A recent case involving potato separating machinery brought under the Patents Act 1977 might cause a few headaches for readers of this blog.

The case -  Grimme Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co KG v Derek Scott (trading as Scotts Potato Machinery) went to the Court of Appeal. The Court decided that a supplier of goods can be found liable for indirect patent infringement if it supplies goods within the UK knowing that (or it should be obvious that), although the product itself does not infringe, it can be modified or used with other products to infringe a patent.

Suppliers cannot get off the hook by adding notices to the effect that the product must not be used to infringe a patent. The result? Suppliers must ensure that products cannot be used for patent infringement. Period.

This was first published in December 2010

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