Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Potato separators: better than slurry ...

Long ago, when I first discovered that area of law that had recently become known as intellectual property and found myself embroiled in issues relating to industrial designs, the arguments revolved around motor vehicles - Morris Marina exhaust pipes, Transit van panels, and even copies of the Caterham (né Lotus) 7. then along came unregistered design right, and we moved into the field of agricultural machinery - pig fenders and slurry separators.

Today the judgment of Floyd J in Grimme Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH & Co KG v Scott (t/a Scotts Potato Machinery) [2009] EWHC 2691 (Pat) has been published. The machine in question is a potato separator - preferable in so many ways to a slurry separator, although I don't suppose it's necessary to bring them to court - and there is an unregistered design right angle as well as a patent angle. UDR had in fact expired at the end of last year, but the judge found some infringements: he also found some infringements of the patent, at the same time as holding that the first claim was invalid for obviousness.

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