Sabaf v Meneghetti
In this case concerning gas burners, the patent had two features each of which was individually known or obvious, though not necessarily in combination. The House of Lords held that the question of whether an alleged invention comprised a mere collocation was to be addressed by whether or not there was only one invention or two, and that two inventions did not become one simply because they were incorporated into the same hardware. The gas burners in issue included two features: (1) over hob air intake, and (2) a radial venturi design, but the functions of each had no impact on the other. By reference to section 14(5)(d) of the Patents Act 1977 it was held that “invention” as used in section 3 of the Patents Act should be treated as an expression of a single inventive concept and not as a collocation of separate inventions. Accordingly it was held that the gas burners in question were two separate inventions in collocation, and the validity of the Patent depended on the inventiveness of the individual features rather than the combination of them. In addition the issue of the characteristics of and necessary involvement for a person to be an “importer” for the purposes of section 60(1) of the Patents Act 1977 were considered and the House of Lords upheld the decision of Court of Appeal that the Italian manufacturer of the goods had not been an importer, and so had not been an infringer.