Nichia -v- Argos [2007] Bus LR 1753 (CA)

19 July 2007

Daniel Alexander QC and James St.Ville acted for Argos in their appeal against the recent decision of the Patents Court (Mr Justice Pumfrey, 23 February 2007) that standard disclosure on obviousness should not normally be ordered in patent actions. Adrian Speck and James Whyte acted for Nichia. The claim is for infringement of patents relating to transparent electrodes and the layout of bond pads in gallium nitride LEDs with a counterclaim for invalidity. The Court of Appeal handed down judgment on 19 July 2007 allowing the appeal, ordering disclosure and setting out the principles upon which disclosure should be ordered in the future. In addition to the central issue of disclosure (which Lord Justice Jacob described as “significant”) the judgments handed down provide guidance as to (a) the approach to contemporary evidence in cases of obviousness and (b) whether privilege can be relied upon in withholding information concerning experiments undertaken for the purposes of the litigation.