In Camworth Technologies Ltd v Videx Wire Products (Pty) Ltd, the Supreme Court of Appeal heard an appeal from the Court of the Commissioner of Patents, where the respondent, Videx, had successfully obtained a declaration of non-infringement in terms of Section 69(1) of the Patents Act.
There was no dispute between the parties that the procedural requirements of Section 69(1) of the act were complied with. In terms of that section the patentee had failed to give an acknowledgement of non-infringement. The dispute was whether the Videx product, a preload device or pot used in mining, infringed the Camworth patent by falling within the ambit of any of the claims of the patent.
In order to assess infringement, the patent specification and, more specifically, the patent claims have to be construed. In South Africa, a purposive construction is used, and the patent claims are broken down into their essential integers. Only when all the essential integers of a claim are present in a product does the product infringe the patent in question.
The Camworth patent comprises seven claims directed towards a preload device, of which claims two to six are dependent on claim one and claim seven is a so-called omnibus claim. The court therefore had to consider only claim one of the patent. If claim one of the patent is not infringed, none of the remaining claims will be infringed.
To continue reading, you need a subscription to WIPR. Start a subscription to WIPR for £455.
In-house feature articles, the archive and expert comment require a paid subscription. Subscribe now.
Want to give it a try? We are offering a two week free trial to the WIPR website – register and select “Free Trial” to begin access to the full WIPR archive and read the latest news, features and expert comment. Begin your free trial here.
Is your 2 week free trial about to end? Upgrade to a 12 month subscription for £455 now.
If you have already subscribed please login.
If you have any technical issues please email tech support.
Non-infringement declarations, patents, Camworth Technologies Ltd v Videx Wire Products (Pty) Ltd, Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa