Friday, 7 August 2015

Opinions and Revocation - JCB is the Guinea Pig

Following my earlier posts here and here about the new provision under section 73 of the UK Patents Act for automatic revocation following an opinion, I have noticed that the first step has been taken today in relation to Opinion 25/14. As mentioned in my post here, this opinion found GB2497956 to lack novelty over a patent cited by the requester. The period for requesting a review expired on 11 May 2015 with no request being filed. After taking nearly three months to think about it, the UK IPO has now written to the proprietor, stating the following:
"Under Section 73(1A) your patent has been reviewed by a Deputy Director on behalf of the Comptroller who considers that claim 1 is not novel in view of US 3485037 and also not inventive, in particular in view of US 2007/175209 and EP1439310.
Before beginning revocation proceedings, you are invited to amend your patent and/or to comment on the citations before [7 October 2015]."
This is the first time the new provision under section 73(1A) has been used to initiate action. The proprietor, JC Bamford Excavators Limited, now has two months to decide what to do to try to avoid getting their patent revoked. I will, of course be keeping a close watch to see what happens.


  1. Also watching with interest. It looks like the proprietor has requested (and been granted) a two month extension, so we may be waiting aroung until 9 December 2015 for any new developments.

    1. I noticed that too. I'm keeping an eye on three now where s73(1A) proceedings have been initiated. Along with this one, proceedings have been initiated in respect of EP1837182 and GB2487996, deadlines expiring on 16 and 18 November respectively (extendable). Looks like there are two more due to be initiated, on EP1657072 and EP2124945, although I suspect a review will be requested first on the latter.