Fontem Holdings 1BV and Fontem Ventures -v- Ten Motives Limited and 10 Motives Limited, UK Patents Court (Mr Justice Norris), 2 October 2015
The Claimants (Fontem) has commenced patent infringement proceedings against a number of defendants, including 10 Motives, Nicocigs, JT International SA and Zandera. The infringement and related revocation actions are due to be heard together in May 2016. The actions all involve electronic cigarettes, a rapidly growing market.
10 Motives applied to the Patents Court for summary judgment of the infringement claim against them, alternatively a stay of the infringement claim pending the outcome of an opposition at the EPO. Summary judgment in patent proceedings in the UK has traditionally been difficult to obtain, given that the Court must decide what the words of the patent mean to the skilled person, regarding which expert evidence is usually relied upon. In this case the judge decided that Fontem’s infringement claim was “well arguable” and one for which expert evidence would be needed. He therefore declined to grant summary judgment.