Patents – Who is a person skilled in the art

When a patent is examined one test that is applied is whether a person skilled in the art would find the invention obvious.

The definition of a person skilled in the art is provided by Section 3 of the Patents Act 1977 and the corresponding Article of the EPC (Article 56).

The Act states that the obviousness test must be applied through the eyes of an average person skilled in the art who is equipped with the attributes, knowledge, skill and qualifications relevant to the field in question.

The skills and qualifications required will differ depending on the nature of the invention and the field to which it relates.

Jody Tsigarides

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