Introduction to revocation of patents
Introduction to revocation of patents

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Introduction to revocation of patents
  • Grounds for revocation
  • Patent revocation proceedings
  • IPO procedure
  • Court procedure
  • Certificate of contested validity of patent
  • Subsequent challenges to validity

Patents may be revoked, that is, taken off the register of patents, if it is decided that they are invalid in some respect. The effect of revocation is that the patent is cancelled and is meant to be treated as if it had never existed.

After a patent has been granted, any person, whether they have a legal interest in seeking revocation or not, can apply to the comptroller or the courts for an order to revoke the patent. The only exception to this is when the revocation application is on the ground of non-entitlement; such a claim can only be brought by the person who thinks he is entitled to the patent. For more about patent entitlement, see Practice Note: Patents—entitlement and co-ownership.

Grounds for revocation

The grounds on which a patent may be revoked are that:

  1. the invention is not a patentable invention. This covers lack of novelty, lack of inventive step, lack of industrial applicability and exclusions (section 1 of the Patents Act 1977 (PA 1977)). For more information about patentability, see Practice Note: Patent invalidity and revocation

  2. the patent was granted to a person who was not entitled to be granted that patent. This ground is subject to time limits and limitations on who is entitled to apply

  3. the specification does not disclose the invention clearly and completely enough for it to be

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