Patent claim filed against low carbon energy firm

Powerhouse Energy Group, (PHE) which is developing technology to convert non-recyclable waste into low carbon energy, says it is facing a patent claim filed by GetGo Recycling Ltd.

Bingley-headquartered Powerhouse has this morning branded the claim by Carlisle-based GetGo as “entirely without merit and vexatious”, adding that it will “vigorously defend any claim on its Intellectual Property.”

The claim was filed in the High Court in London on 6 October 2023.

Powerhouse says it has not had any direct dealings or any communication from GetGo, noting that it first became aware the claim had been filed via a third party. It also says there is no detail or information in the filing of the claim.

Powerhouse states: “In addition, the claimant (i) did not send to us a letter of claim in accordance with the Code of Practice for pre-action conduct in intellectual property disputes, (ii) has not filed Particulars of Claim in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules applicable to actions in the High Court, and (iii) has not served the claim on Powerhouse.”

The action by GetGo has affected the grant of Powerhouse’s European patent application.

Last Friday – 3 November – Powerhouse says it was informed by the European Patent Office (EPO) that the process for publication of the specification of the patent covered by the grant was “stayed” on 9 October 2023.

Powerhouse explains it has been advised by its Patent Attorneys that this is standard practice where a third party advises the European Patent Office that proceedings for entitlement to a patent have been initiated in the courts.

Powerhouse says it has been advised that the “stay” attached to a granted patent would be removed upon the dismissal of such a claim.

Antony Gardner-Hillman, the business’s chairman, said: “As regards the European Patent Office Communication, I am advised by our patent attorneys there is no significance in this and that it is a normal procedural step when entitlement proceedings have been commenced in respect of a patent.

“As regards the proceedings themselves, we do not foresee any impact on PHE’s ongoing work or interference with the company’s business.

“We will deal with this as an ordinary day-to-day challenge of a kind I have seen and dealt with successfully before in my career, acting in the appropriate way and with due regard.

“I do not know the claimant company and I believe its action is intended to ‘soften’ PHE as the targeted party before a follow-on approach on something unrelated.

“We shall wait and see whether this is the case and we shall respond accordingly.

“In the meantime, we have filed a claim for defence legal costs indemnity under our Intellectual Property insurance policy and are in the process of instructing IP litigation solicitors.

“I regard these events as just another stage in the journey of a company which is developing and protecting proprietary technology which is sufficiently exciting to attract the attention of others who can see that it holds value.”