This guide describes sources for Intellectual Property case law. Many of these are available on the shelves in the reading room of the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC). Some are available online either freely or via subscription services.
- Transcripts of IP judgments and decisions
- Intellectual Property law reports
- Reports of early English cases
- Digests, citators and indexes
- Other sources for intellectual property cases
Transcripts of IP decisions and judgments
This section describes:
- UK Patent Office and Patent Courts decisions.
- European Patent Convention cases
- Other web sources for transcripts of decisions
UK Patent Office and Patents Court transcripts
Our BIPC reading room houses a comprehensive collection of transcripts of UK Patent Office and Patents Courts transcripts.
Note on citation style: UK Patent Office and Patents Court transcripts are sometimes cited in IP journals in the form O/049/11 or C/023/09 where: “O" is the Office series, “C” is the Court series; the three digit number (e.g. 049) is the number assigned to the transcript and the two digit number (e.g. 11) represents the last two digits of the year. These citations may be described as a “SRIS" or “BL” number and are sometimes prefixed by these abbreviations. For more information about this citation method please see the Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations in the Manual of Patent Practice on the Intellectual Property Office website.
England and Wales High Court (Patents Court) and Patents County Court Decisions
Printed transcripts of the decisions of the Patents Court of the England and Wales High Court and transcripts of the judgements of the Patents County Court for England and Wales are referred to as the C (Court) Series. (Citation style: C/number/YY, e.g. C/56/85, may be prefixed with BL or SRIS )
- BIPC (1970 to date)
- British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) produces a free database which contains decisions of the Patents Court of the England and Wales High Court from 1997 to date. It includes all decisions that have been made available to the Courts Service and the public.
- BAILLI also produces a free database which contains judgments of the Patents County Court for England and Wales from 2006 to date.
UK Office Decisions
Printed transcripts of decisions from cases dealt with by the UKIPO (Intellectual Property Office) Court are referred to as the O (Office) series. (Citation style: O/number/YY, e.g. O/128/90, may be prefixed with BL or SRIS)
- BIPC (1970 to date)
- Intellectual Property Office Transcripts website (1998 to date). Decisions and summaries of Office Decisions can be searched or browsed by area of IP law .
Patents Appeal Tribunal Decisions
- BIPC (1970 to 1978)
Board of Trade Decisions
These decisions relate to UK Trade Mark applications.
- BIPC (1970 to 1976)
European Patent Office Board of Appeal Decisions
EPO Board of Appeal decisions & all relevant legal texts on European Patent Convention cases.
(See also Digests below)
- Espace Legal DVD : BIPC (1979 to date)
- EPO website. Board of Appeal Decisions Database
Other web sources for transcripts of decisions
Transcripts of judgments from many courts and adjudicating bodies are freely available on
the particular institution’s website or through the network of online Legal Information Institutes.
See for example
- WORLDLII. A gateway and portal to the content of Legal Information Institutes
- AUSTLII : IP cases The Australasian Legal Information Institute
- OHIM : Decisions (Office for Harmonization Internal Market (EU)). Includes office decisions, ECJ cases, and designated national court decisions in Trade Mark and Designs
- CPVO : Case Law Database Includes published decisions of the councils and boards of appeal of the Community Plant Variety Office (EU)
- WIPO : UDRP Cases and Panel Decisions (World Intellectual Property Organisation - Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy)
- WTO : TRIPS cases (World Trade Organisation – Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property)
Intellectual Property law reports
Judgments from Intellectual Property cases in English and UK courts as well as from the European Court of Justice, European Patent Office and other decision making bodies are reported in a variety of specialised Intellectual Property law reports as well as in general law report series. Selected series are available in the BIPC. For further general details of the Library’s collections please see our web page on Legal cases, law reports and judgements.
Many full text law reports are available via Westlaw UK. This service is available in the Social Sciences reading room , and currently includes law reports such as Reports of Patent Cases (RPC), Fleet Street Reports (FSR), European Copyright and Designs Reports (ECDR), European Patent Office Reports (EPOR), Common Market Law Reports (CMLR), All England Law Reports, Weekly Law Reports and The Law Reports (including Chancery cases).
Intellectual Property law reports in the BIPC
The following UK law report series are held on the open shelves in the Business and Intellectual Property reading room (BIPC). Some series are also available through alternative routes.
Fleet Street Reports of Industrial Property cases from the Commonwealth and Europe
The title of this series has varied over the years but it is generally referred to as Fleet Street Reports. (Citation style: FSR, e.g.  F.S.R. 73)
- BIPC (1963 to date).
- Westlaw UK (1966 to date).
- See also British Library pressmarks P.P.8005.pu. and 3950.361800 DSC
Reports of Patent, Design, Trade Mark and Other Cases
Usually referred to as Reports of Patent Cases, this series covers mostly British cases but does include some overseas cases. (Citation style: RPC, e.g.  R.P.C. 2, early cases sometimes referred to as “Cutler”) (See also Digests below)
- BIPC (Vol.1 1884 to date).
- Westlaw UK (1977 – date).
- See also British Library pressmarks P.P.1648.b.(2.) and 7661.910000
Reports of early English cases available in the BIPC reading room
Ask at the BIPC enquiry desk for access to:
Hayward's Patent Cases
In 11 volumes, this reprints and indexes English patent cases from 1600-1883
Law reports of patent cases
This was compiled by William Carpmael and published in two volumes between 1843 and 1852. The earliest case reported is Darcy v. Allin (Alleyne, Allen) of 1602. Each volume is prefaced by an alphabetical name index to the cases, which also references other works in which the case is reported.
Reports of cases on letters patent for inventions
In three volumes, this was compiled by Thomas Webster and published between 1842
and 1855. As with Carpmael (see above) the first case reported is Darcy v. Allin.
Digests, citators and indexes
Case digests and citators serve together as valuable indexes, provide summaries of judgments, identify the source of the full text judgment, and indicate the effects of subsequent citations on previous decisions.
Digest of the patent, design, trade mark and other cases
An index to the content of Reports of Patent Cases (see above) covering 1883 to 1955.
Industrial property citator 1956-1981 and Intellectual property citator 1982-96
These volumes cover Commonwealth and European Patent Convention Cases.
Westlaw Cases provides case summaries and citations as well as a selection of full text law for IP cases. Analysis also indicates status and subsequent treatment of a particular judgment.
Availability: online access in Social Sciences reading room
British Library Card Index of transcripts of IP cases
This card index covers UK Patent Court and Office cases as well as some European decisions. The index is organised by year of decision.
Availability: BIPC – floor 2
Other sources for intellectual property cases
A range of other sources offering full text judgments and case notes from a number of jurisdictions are available in the BIPC. These include the following titles:
- Industrial Property Law Reporter, 1977 to date. (India)
shelfmark (P) BK 25 (IN1) E1
- Intellectual Property Reports (IPR), 1983 to date. (Australian & S.E. Asia)
shelfmark (P) BH 05 E1
- New Zealand Intellectual Property Reports, 1967-87.
shelfmark (P) BH 00 (NZ1) E2
- United States Patents Quarterly (USPQ), 1937 to date.
shelfmark (P) BL 05 E2
- Trade Mark Reporter, 1911 to date (International , mainly US)
shelfmark (P) BL 60 – E(2)
- Canadian Patent Reporter (CPR), 1952 to date.
shelfmark (P) BM 00 E1
- Butterworths' Intellectual Property and Technology Cases, Oct 2001 to date, (UK & European jurisdictions) (BIPC: no shelfmark)
- Allen's Trademark Digest , 1988 to date (includes USPTO TM cases)
shelfmark (P) BL 05 -E(7)
- WRP : Wettbewerb in Recht und Praxis, 1955 – date,
shelfmark (P) BJ 25 -G(3)
- IP Decisions, 1978 – 2010 then in Intellectual Property Magazine. (BIPC: no shelfmark)
- European Patent Decisions: a compendium of the more important decisions of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office
shelfmark (B) IP 346.4048
Business and Intellectual Property enquiries
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Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7454
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7453