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Intellectual Property

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

15 May 2018

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Bespoke training

We can customise this course to meet the requirements of your organisation.

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Course Overview

This seminar will:-

  • Examine the principles of claim construction in the three jurisdictions
  • 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 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 Germany approaches to claim construction and validity determination
  • Recommendations for both litigating patents and preparing patent applications
  • Provision for participants to ask questions and discuss individual concerns through 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


1. Patent claims construction generally

A. In the USA

  • Inherent ambiguities of the ‘All Elements Rule’
  • Use of intrinsic and extrinsic evidence
  • Counterintuitive interpreations of ‘means for’ claims

B. In the UK

  • Interpreting the claim in the context of the specification and the art
  • The literal or primary meaning of the claim or integer
  • Purposive construction, as defined in Catnic and restated by the House of Lords in Amgen in 2004.
  • Any resideual relevance of the guidelines in Improver?
  • Compliance with EPC Article 69 and Protocol

C. In Germany

  • No claim construction below wording
  • ‘Purposive construction’ as part of literal wording
  • Meaning of ‘Means’ in claims and specification
  • Relationship between claims and specification

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 effect of Amgen: How simple is the approach; are judges given any structured approach at all?
  • Continuing significance of ‘variants’ in slower-moving technologies?
  • Material considered by the court
  • Expert evidence
  • Compliance with EPC Article 69 and Protocol

C. In Germany

  • Expert evidence, admissible evidence
  • No Prosecution history estoppel
  • The ‘Formstein’ estoppel
  • Latest Supreme Court decisions on Equvalents (Permetrexed and Wärmetauscher)


A. In the USA

  • Four-part nonobvious analysis after KSR and the AIA
  • Reliance on the specification to construe the claims and avoid the art
  • Traps for European specifications filed in the USA

B. In the UK

  • Construction and the four-step ‘Pozzoli’ test for obviousness
  • Relevance of purposive construction to insufficiency analysis

C. In Germany

  • Split infringement/invalidity proceedings
  • Requirements for combination of documents


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

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

Previous customers include...

  • AB Electrolux
  • Abzena plc
  • Alison Gallafent Limited
  • Appleyard Lees IP LLP
  • AstraZeneca
  • Boult Wade Tennant
  • British Telecommunications plc
  • Canon Europe Ltd
  • Coloplast A/S
  • Datalogic IP Tech Srl
  • De La Rue Holdings plc
  • DSM IP Assets BV
  • DuPont Nutrition Biosciences ApS
  • EGIS Pharmaceuticals PLC
  • Epping Hermann Fischer Patentanwalts GmbH
  • Hoffmann Eitle
  • Holme Patent A/S
  • Institut Straumann
  • J K Gadzama & Partners
  • Maiwald Patentanwalts GmbH
  • Metayage IP Strategy Consulting LLP
  • Müller Fottner Steinecke Rechtsanwalts- und Patentanwaltspartnerschaft mbB
  • Nestle Research Centre
  • Pfizer Limited
  • Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Solvay SA
  • Stratagem IPM Ltd
  • Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd.
  • Syngenta
  • Volkswagen AG