Henry Ward appeared for the successful Defendant, Airbus, in this patent infringement and invalidity action.
Kwikbolt alleged that the use by Airbus of a product called the Centrix Free Spin Fastener in the assembly of aircraft wings at Broughton in North Wales infringed Kwikbolt’s patent for a “removeable blind fastener”. Airbus counterclaimed alleging that the patent in question was not infringed, and/or was invalid.
HHJ Hacon found that the patent lacked neither novelty nor inventive step over any of the cited items of prior art, and accordingly that the patent was valid.
However, HHJ Hacon also found that the Centrix Fastener did not fall within the claims of the patent and did not achieve the result of the inventive concept of the patent, and so the patent was not infringed either on the normal construction of its claims or pursuant to the doctrine of equivalents.
The effect of the Judge’s findings were that the patent would have been obvious in the light of the prior art, had the Centrix Fastener fallen within the claims.