Failure of Others

Date Published

If other inventors have tried to solve a problem and were not successful, a claim will likely involve an inventive step:

"...when I find that the person who has made the invention, himself being a person skilled in the art, has had to take time and make experiments before he arrived at the solution that it is a solution which has apparently been sought for many years by various persons and has not been arrived at ... then I think in the light of that evidence the prima facie view which one might take ... and I do in this case come to the conclusion, that on the whole there is sufficient here to support the patent."

Howaldt Ld v Condrup Ld (1937) 54 RPC 121 at page 133.


"Dozens of inventors, and no doubt others as well, had tried and failed to find a satisfactory solution. It is not credible that this should have happened if the problem only needed workshop experiments to solve it."

Technograph Printed Circuits Limited v Mills and Rockley (Electronics) Limited [1972] RPC 346 at page 353.