Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
GB 2350394 B
Hearing Officer
Mr S Probert
Decision date
11 October 2017
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Ninefields Holdings Ltd
Provisions discussed
Sect 74B
Infringement, Opinions and Reviews
Related Decisions


The patentee requested a review of Opinion 30/16 on the grounds that the examiner had incorrectly construed one of the terms in the claim (‘rib’) and went on to conclude wrongly that there would be no infringement.

The patent relates to an end cap for insertion into a scaffold tube. The Hearing Officer found that the examiner had not misconstrued the relevant term in the claim and did not reach a conclusion on infringement that was clearly wrong. Although the opinion would have been more complete if the examiner had applied the Improver or Protocol questions, it was not an error of principle to omit them. The important thing is that the examiner adopted a purposive construction of the terms in the claim. The Opinion was not set aside.

The Hearing Officer noted that after opinion 30/17 was issued, the Supreme Court in Actavis v Eli Lilly has changed the way in which patent infringement is determined. Consequently the method used, and the reasons given, in opinion 30/16 are no longer consistent with the law as it would now be applied.

Full decision O/500/17 PDF document433Kb