Chinese Utility Models and prior art

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of HHJ Birss QC in the Patents County Court (now the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court) finding that the appellant’s patent for a baby buggy module was invalid for obviousness.

The respondent, Phil & Ted’s Most Excellent Buggy Company, argued that the prior art — the ‘Goodbaby’ — was such that if a skilled person were to put the disclosure into practice, without any inventive step, the resulting product would fall within the ambit of the claim of the patent in suit. The patent in suit was a buggy module, convertible between seat and cot configurations; the Goodbaby was also convertible between seat and cot configurations, so the Court of Appeal had no difficulty in concluding that a skilled person would have treated the Goodbaby as an appropriate starting point for the invention…

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