Patent Infringement Claim Denied on Multiple Grounds

July 18, 2013

Patent Infringement Claim Denied on Multiple Grounds

A patent can only be granted when there is novelty in the thing for which the patent is sought. This is why it is critical that one’s novel designs do not become public knowledge: once they do, a patent application can be defeated on the ground of ‘common general knowledge’. Similarly, if a patent is sought in respect of something which is obvious from knowledge of the area, it should not be granted.

In a recent case, Motorola sought to claim against Microsoft for breach of patents relating to its messaging technology, which allows messages to be synchronised across multiple transceivers. The allegation was made in respect of technology used by Microsoft in its Live Messenger and Exchange Active products.

The court agreed that had Motorola’s patent been valid, it would have been infringed by Microsoft. However, a combination of prior common general knowledge, lack of novelty and the obviousness of the application served to defeat the claim by invalidating the existing patents.