0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

common general knowledge - a truth universally acknowledged

11 April 2011

Jane Austin’s famous phrase “a truth universally acknowledged” was adopted by Mr Justice Floyd recently to summarise an understanding of what amounts to common general knowledge and to distinguish that knowledge from something which is obvious. There was then an interesting discussion on the approach of the expert and the difference between common general knowledge and further information which the skilled person will seek before he embarks on the problem to which the patent provides a solution. He concluded that a step by step analysis, performed after the event, may not in fact prove to be unrealistic or driven by hindsight. The mere fact that further steps can be characterised as being performed in order to make an informed decision cannot prevent those steps from contributing to a finding of inventiveness.

Probably the best evidence of common general knowledge is found in standard text books rather than in the studies of highly learned and expensive experts.

related opinions

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

Wearable security

How secure is your fitness tracker? (Not to mention your smartwatch, sleep tracker, smart shoe insoles and wearable Bluetooth keyboard). It’s something that many of us give little thought to, but perhaps we should be more concerned.

View blog

Trade mark owners must reimburse internet service providers for the cost of implementing internet blocking orders

The Supreme Court handed down judgment in the long-running Cartier dispute of 13 June 2018, overruling the Court of Appeal

View blog

CJEU shapes up nicely for Louboutin red sole trade mark

The Court of Justice of the European Union has today given its judgment in relation to a key issue in one of the most hotly debated trade mark disputes in recent times.

View blog

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up