0370 270 6000

Court of Appeal uphold invalidity of animal flea infestation patent

29 January 2013

The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision that a patent for an animal flea treatment was invalid on grounds of sufficiency due to its broad formulation.

It was found that the patent, required a skilled team to formulate a combination of active ingredients to achieve the claimed result, however, it contained no examples to guide the formulation process. The patent “provided no real practical assistance over and above the common general knowledge”.

As the trial judge stated, the very broad formulation was not “sufficient description to enable the skilled person to arrive at a formulation within the claims without undue effort.”

While there is no requirement for a patent to include specific examples, and this was not in itself fatal in this case, it was this lack of example combined with an inadequate specification which led to the insufficiency finding. This decision is a good reminder that patents which do not easily enable construction of an invention without reference to other sources may be at risk.

Related opinions

IR35 rules to be scrapped from April 2023

The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.

View blog

Cameras in convenience stores: a potential hornet’s nest..?

A convenience retailer has opted to install cameras (the “Facewatch” system) at a limited number of its English stores to reduce crime and protect its staff.

View blog

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Right to Work Checks: Changes from 6 April 2022

From 6 April 2022, right to work checks on all migrant or settled prospective employees must be online and checks on British or Irish nationals will be manual (free) or digital (charged for).

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up