Smith & Nephew plc v. Convatec Technologies Inc., High Court, Chancery Division, Patents Court, London, UK, 13 June 2012,  EWHC 1602 (Pat)
The Patents Court held Convatec’s amended patent to be valid.
Smith & Nephew (S&N) applied to revoke Convatec’s patent, EP (UK) 1 343 510, concerning methods of making a wound dressing which used silver as an antimicrobial agent and which was photostable.
S&N argued that the patent was invalid on various grounds and in the course of the proceedings Convatec conceded that the unamended patent was invalid and applied to amend. Convatec argued that claim 1 in its amended form was valid. S&N disputed that the amendments were allowable but in any event argued that amended claim 1 was invalid for obviousness over two items of prior art (Gibbins and Kreidl).
HHJ Birss QC (sitting as a judge of the High Court) rejected S&N’s allegation that the proposed amendments constituted added matter and held the amendments to be allowable. The judge rejected the obviousness attack based on Gibbins as it would only invalidate claim 1 with the benefit of hindsight. The judge also rejected the obviousness attack based on Kreidl as it required the act of an inventive person to put into effect in such a way as to invalidate the patent.
Read the judgment in English here.
Head note: Robert Fitt