Coloplast A/S v Salts Healthcare Ltd

18 January 2021

Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC and Max Keay appeared for the claimant, Coloplast, in this patent infringement and validity trial.  The subject matter of the one patent in issue was ostomy bags, and specifically a woven textile comfort layer to provide a bag with increased resistance against tearing and pulling forces.

The Defendant, Salts, had launched a range of ostomy bags in 2017 under the name “Confidence BE”, which Coloplast asserted fell within several of the claims of the patent, only one of which was relied upon at trial.  Salts denied infringement and counterclaimed for revocation of the patent on the bases of lack of novelty, lack of inventive step, insufficiency, AgrEvo obviousness, and added matter.

Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, Nicholas Caddick QC rejected Salts’ invalidity claims on the grounds of novelty, insufficiency or added matter.  However, he found that the patent was invalid because the patent relied on a concept which was not inventive, but which was obvious over the common general knowledge of the skilled person and also over the prior art disclosure upon which Salts relied.  Mr Caddick QC said that if the patent had been valid, then he would have found that the relevant claim was infringed by Salts’ product.

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