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Intellectual Property Cases: law reports and transcripts

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 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 )

Availability:

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)

Availability:

Patents Appeal Tribunal Decisions

Availability:

  • BIPC (1970 to 1978)

Board of Trade Decisions

These decisions relate to UK Trade Mark applications.
Availability:

  • 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)

Availability:

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. [1966] F.S.R. 73)

Availability:

  • 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. [2011] R.P.C. 2, early cases sometimes referred to as “Cutler”) (See also Digests below)

Availability:

  • 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.
Availability: BIPC

Industrial property citator 1956-1981 and Intellectual property citator 1982-96

These volumes cover Commonwealth and European Patent Convention Cases.
Availability: BIPC

Westlaw UK

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

Further Information

Business and Intellectual Property enquiries
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7454
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7453

E-mail: Ask the Reference Team