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PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, QUALITY MANAGEMENT & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

SECTION A

I attended Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday 11th February 2009. I arrived at the Court at approximately 1.30pm. Upon arriving I viewed the hearing lists on both the boards and the monitors. No specific times were given for any particular hearings so I asked at the court desk whether there were any hearings which were available for the public to observe. The clerk advised that two hearings were shortly due to commence and the public could observe in both.

The case clearly illustrates the importance of addressing intellectual property issues at the earliest opportunity in new product development. The claimants' product used raw materials which were all readily available and although the step she took was simple, it was extremely effective and ultimately successful. As was stated in an earlier case by Hoffman LJ in Biogen Inc. v. Medeva plc [1997] RPC 1, 34, "sometimes it is the idea of using established techniques to do something which no one had previously thought of doing...the inventive step will be doing the new thing." Had the claimant not applied for the patent when she did, in light of the numerous other manufacturers attempting to find a solution to the problem, the development may have been ultimately discovered by another. Her inventiveness would then have gone unrewarded. It was the application for the patent which enabled the claimant to be rewarded for her inventiveness and allowed her to reap the benefits from the commercial success which the development produced. As Laddie LJ held, at 45, "the patent discloses something significantly inventive to deserve the grant of a monopoly."

SECTION C

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