From 1 October 2014, Section 62 of the UK Patents Act is amended to refer to the possibility of marking a product covered by a patent with an internet link to a webpage listing patent(s) which cover the product instead of marking the product itself with the actual patent number. Marking a product to refer to a patent or patent application can be important in the UK. If a patentee wins an infringement action, the infringer may try to avoid having an award of damages or an account of profits made against them on grounds that at the date of the infringement they were not aware of and had no reasonable grounds for supposing that the patent existed. Marking a product to refer to the patent and including the patent number or now marking the product with an internet link to a webpage listing the patent number, will reduce the chance of this defence applying.
As it is in some circumstances possible to backdate a claim for damages or an account of profits to the publication date of a patent application which later gave rise to a granted patent, it is advisable not to wait for a patent to issue but to either mark products with the number of a patent application which covers the product or again to provide an internet link to a webpage listing the relevant patent application number. The use of an internet link is advantageous in that it allowing marking to be updated, for example when a patent application is granted.
The UK Intellectual Property Office has issued a fact sheet with advice on the subject.