Saab Seaeye Limited -v- Atlas Electronic GmbH and ECS Special Projects Limited and Adrian Dann and Blueprint Design Engineering Limited (t/a Blueprint Subsea) and James Barratt, High Court (Patents Court), Mr Justice Mann, 4 November 2015
The English Patents Court has partially upheld the validity of two patents, GB 2 482 576 (GB 576) and GB 2 483 861 (GB 861), owned jointly by Atlas Electronic GmbH and ECS Special Projects Limited, which relate to underwater mine clearance operations. The Court went on to hold that certain claims of both patents had been infringed by Saab Seaeye Limited (“Saab”) with its Ballista product.
Saab brought an action for revocation against the two patents. It alleged that GB 576 was invalid on the grounds that the patent lacked novelty over an earlier device in development in the early 1990s (the ‘SeaSting’) and/or GB 2 234 203 A (BAe), obvious over BAe and/or SeaSting, and that it was insufficient. The patentees made an unconditional application to amend the patent, so the invalidity case proceeded on the basis of the amended claims. The patentees alleged that claims 1 and 9 were infringed.