This brief note looks at IPO opinions on patent infringement and validity.
Where there are allegations of patent infringement and / or invalidity a party may appl to the UK IPO in order to obtain an opinion as to whether (s 74A(1)):
a) a particular act constitutes (or if it was done then would constitute) patent infringement, and / or;
b) that the invention in question is not patentable due to a lack of novelty or absence of an inventive step.
An IPO opinion is not binding on any party (s 74A(4)) however the aim is that the opinion is to be used to assist a party (or parties) to assess the merits of action, the likely costs of infringement and /or to negotiate a settlement.
Either a patentee or the exclusive licensee of the patent may apply to the IPO for a review of an opinion (s 74B).