Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Premium Aircraft Interiors Group Ltd and Premium Aircraft Interiors UK Ltd [2009] EWHC 26

21 January 2009

Richard Meade QC, Henry Ward and Jessie Bowhill appeared for the claimants, Virgin Atlantic, in the trial before Mr. Justice Lewison in November 2008. Virgin brought a claim against Premium Aircraft alleging that that Premium Aircraft Interiors, the manufacturer of its patented flat-bed seat (called ‘the UCS’), had manufactured other seats or kits for other seats that infringed its patent and its unregistered design rights in the UCS, and in particular that the Solar Eclipse chair made by Premium Aircraft was based on a copy of the UCS. The defendants’ case was primarily that it had not infringed the patent or the unregistered design right, but that, if the patent was infringed by a reclining seat, then the patent was invalid on the grounds of anticipation, obviousness and added matter. The Judge held that the patent was valid but that neither the patent nor the unregistered design right was infringed by Premium Aircraft’s other chairs.