The Impact of Patent Construction - How to Prove Infringement and Validity

This seminar provides a comprehensive overview of the principles of patent claim interpretation in the USA, UK and Germany.

13 May 2020

GBP 699
EUR 979
USD 1,090

Book now

Course Overview

This seminar provides a comprehensive overview of the principles of patent claim interpretation in the USA, UK and Germany, a comparison and explanation of the varying approaches for determining when a patent claim that does not literally describe an accused system is nonetheless infringed. As well as exemplary fact scenarios with comparisons of the USA, UK and Germany approaches to claim construction and validity determination.

This seminar will provide:-

  • Examine the UK Supreme Court introduction of a doctrine of equivalents in Actavis v Lilly* Contrast the doctrines of equivalents and purposive construction
  • Explore the decisions in Germany limiting the doctrine of equivalents
  • Contrast the doctrines of equivalents and purposive construction
  • Analyse validity requirements
  • Illustrate the major issues with panel discussion, comparative examples and case studies

Why you should attend

This seminar provides:

  • A comprehensive overview of the principles of patent claim interpretation in the USA, UK and Germany
  • A full examination of the UK court judgments relevant to the UK’s doctrine of equivalents. Learn how the scope of protection against infringement has been extended, whereas the meaning of a patent claim and its effect on novelty has not
  • An in-depth look at a long series of decisions in Germany limiting the application of the doctrine of equivalents. Understand how the Supreme Court put an end to this with its decisions on Pemetrexed and ‘Heat Exchanger’
  • A comparison and explanation of the varying approaches for determining when a patent claim that does not literally describe an accused system is nonetheless infringed
  • Exemplary fact scenarios, with comparisons of the USA, UK and German approaches to claim construction and validity determination
  • Recommendations for both litigating patents and preparing patent applications
  • Question and discussion opportunities throughout the day

Who should attend

  • Patent Professionals in private practice, including patent attorneys and lawyers
  • Heads of IP, Heads of Patents and in-house patent counsel at every level
  • Patent Engineers and inventors
  • All whose responsibilities include th need to understand the scope of patent coverage in USA, UK and Germany


I. Patent claim construction generally

A. In the USA

  • Inherent ambiguities of the ‘All Elements Rule’
  • Use of intrinsic and extrinsic evidence
  • Counterintuitive interpretation of functional claims

B. In the UK

  • Court’s approach to the ‘normal’ interpretation of the claims …
    • … and the (wider) scope of protection under the UK doctrine of equivalents
  • Accepted principles of claim construction (Virgin Atlantic)
  • The approach taken to parameters, numerals and specific claim form

C. In Germany

  • Literal infringement and ‘functional’ interpretation
  • ‘Functional’ interpretation can result in construction ‘below’ the wording?
  • Numerals and literal infringement

II. Doctrines of equivalents and purposive construction

A. In the USA

  • Sub-tests for determining equivalents
  • Counterweights to ‘equivalence’
    • Vitiation
    • Prosecution history estoppel and its variants

B. In the UK

The groundbreaking judgment in Actavis vs Lilly
  • Does a ‘variant’ vary from the invention in an immaterial way?
    • Achieving substantially the same result in the same way
    • Obviousness to skilled person of the same ‘way’
    • Is strict compliance to ‘normal’ claim meaning essential to the Invention?
  • Compliance with EPC Article 69 and Protocol
  • UK court’s willingness to refer to EPO prosecution history

C. In Germany

  • The Schneidmesser questions
  • Relevance of Pemetrexed
  • Has the scope of protection become broader again?
  • Relevance of prosecution history

III. Validity analysis

A. In the USA

  • Four-part non-obvious analysis
  • Reliance on the specification to construe the claims but without importing limitations
  • Traps for European specifications filed in the USA

B. In the UK

  • Construction and the four-step Pozzoli test for obviousness
  • Novelty: narrower claim meaning for novelty than scope for infringement

C. In Germany

  • Differences between approach of the EPO and the German Supreme Court
  • Consequences of Germany’s bifurcation system

IV. Comparative examples and case studies

Presentation and panel discussion on the construction, infringement and validity of granted patents: comparative analysis and case studies


William Cook

William Cook is a partner in Marks & Clerk Solicitors in London. He is involved in all aspects of IP licensing and enforcement, specialising in particular in patent litigation. As well as leading patent infringement and validity litigation in the UK and co-ordinating across the EU, USA and Asia, he works on FRAND licensing, patent essentialilty, exhaustion of rights and IP/competition law issues. He also presents regularly on patent law and procedure in the UK and internationally.

Ulrich Blumenroeder

Ulrich Blumenröder is a partner at Grűnecker, Kinkeldey, Stockmair & Schwanhäusser, an IP-firm in Munich, which focuses equally on both IP-litigation and IP-prosecution.
He is active in all fields of intellectual property but primarily specialises in patent litigation. He has litigated for both plaintiffs and defendants in all prominent German courts in normal as well as preliminary injunction proceedings.
He frequently gives lectures on various topics of patent law. He has written articles and is author of ‘German Regulations on Industrial Products’ (1997).

Bradley Hulbert

Bradley Hulbert is a founding partner in McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, an 80-lawyer patent firm in Chicago. He has been lead counsel in a wide range of successful patent lawsuits and has overseen the development of a diverse range of extensive, international patent portfolios. He is an adjunct professor of law at the Chicago-Kent Law School.

Continuing professional development

This course qualifies for the following CPD programmes:

  • CPD certificate of attendance: 5.50 hours
  • General Council of the Bar: 5.50 hours

Book now

13 May 2020
13 May 2020 Cavendish Hotel, London GBP 699.00
EUR 979.00
USD 1,090.00
+ VAT @ 20.00%
Enrol now

Previous customers include...

  • AB Electrolux
  • AB Volvo
  • Abzena plc
  • Addleshaw Goddard LLP
  • Awapatent AB
  • British Telecommunications plc
  • Clyde & Co LLP
  • Constellation Law Group PLLC
  • De La Rue Holdings plc
  • DuPont Nutrition Biosciences ApS
  • Guardian IP Consulting I/S
  • IBA
  • Infineum UK Ltd
  • Institut Straumann
  • Johnson Matthey PLC
  • Kolster Oy Ab
  • Loughborough University
  • Maiwald Patentanwalts GmbH
  • Octrooibureau Van der Lely N.V.
  • Patentanwaltskanzlei Matschnig & Forsthuber
  • Ropes & Gray LLP
  • SEB Developpement
  • SHL Group AB
  • Solvay SA
  • Sony Europe Limited
  • Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd.
  • Syngenta
  • Volkswagen AG
  • Zacco Denmark A/S
  • ZBM Patents S.L.

Excellent venue/presentation/speakers. Interactive.

Peter Ten Haaft, European and Dutch Patent Attorney, NLO

Brilliant course and content. Clear and brilliant speakers.

Cristian Benelli, IP Manager, GEA Procomac


Joe Gaal, Senior Patent Attorney, Syngenta Ltd