Lindsay Lane QC and Maxwell Keay acted for the defendants, Sky, in this patent action. The subject matter of the patent in issue was a system and method of voice recognition in the context of cable television and/or video delivery. The Claimant, Promptu Systems, alleged infringement in relation to Sky’s “Sky Q” subscription television service.
Sky denied infringement on the bases that the operation of the Sky Q system did not satisfy the requirements of the claim on its proper interpretation, and that even if it did, some of the elements of the claim take place outside the UK taking it outside infringement. Promptu Systems proposed to amend the patent, but by the time of trial it did not oppose a finding that all but one of the claims of the patent as proposed to be amended were invalid over the prior art.
Mr Justice Meade held that the proposed amended claim in issue was obvious over a 1998 US patent, and accordingly that the patent was invalid and should be revoked. Had the patent been valid it would have been infringed by the operation of the Sky Q system and the method of the claim was in substance performed in the UK.