WEDNESDAY LAW REPORT: Second Appeals Provisions Do Not Apply to Appeal under Patents Act ; 23 NOVEMBER 2005 Smith International Inc V Specialised Petroleum Services Group Ltd ([2005] EWCA Civ 1357) Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Justice Mummery, Lord Justice Jacob and Lord Justice Neuberger) 17 November 2005

Article excerpt

On appeals under section 97(3) of the Patents Act 1977, the 'second appeals' provisions in section 55 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 and rule 52.13 of the Civil Procedure Rules did not apply.

The Court of Appeal granted Smith International Inc's application for permission to appeal against an order of the Patents Court.

A procedural point arose on Smith International's application for permission to appeal, namely whether the 'second appeals' provisions in section 55 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 and CPR 52.13 applied in the present case, or whether the particular appeal provisions enacted in section 97(3) of the Patents Act 1977 still applied.

Section 97(3) provided:

An appeal shall not lie to the Court of Appeal on appeal from a decision of the Patents Court on appeal from a decision of the comptroller under this Act or rules " (a) except where the comptroller's decision was given under section 8, 12, 18, 20, 27, 37, 40, 61, 72, 73, or 75 above; or (b) except where the ground of appeal is that the decision of the Patents Court is wrong in law; but an appeal shall only lie to the Court of Appeal under this section if leave to appeal is given by the Patents Court or the Court of Appeal.

Section 55, which was implemented in CPR 52.13, provided:

(1) Where an appeal is made to a county court or the High Court in relation to any matter, and on hearing the appeal

the court makes a decision in relation to that matter, no appeal may be made to the Court of Appeal from that decision unless the Court of Appeal considers that " (a) the appeal would raise an important point of principle or practice, or (b) there is some other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to hear it. …