Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr H Jones
Decision date
15 April 2021
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Close Brewery Rentals Ltd and Geco Holdings Ltd
Provisions discussed
Sections 12, 13 and 37 and rule 10
Entitlement, Inventorship
Related Decisions


The claimant had commissioned a manufacturing company (MDES) to undertake the design and build of an automated, ultra-high-pressure keg/cask washing system for use in the brewing industry. The manufacturing company filed a patent application relating to the automated system for cleaning kegs/casks and eventually assigned it to the defendant, a company established by MDES to separate its IP assets from its manufacturing and servicing activities. MDES eventually entered into liquidation. The claimant argued that the invention was made by its own employees and that the inventors named in the patent had contributed nothing to the inventive concept. There was disagreement about the precise scope of the inventive concept and expert evidence was submitted to assist the hearing officer. Having reviewed the relevant authorities on the assessment of inventive concept in entitlement disputes, the hearing officer found that the idea for an automated keg/cleaning as broadly set out in the independent claim had originated from the claimant. It was ordered that the patent should be assigned to the claimant and that the two individuals employed by the claimant should be named as the inventors in place of those previous employed by MDES.

Full decision O/264/21 PDF document323Kb