Various stock figures people the pages of English law: the man on the Clapham omnibus, the reasonable man / person, the officious bystander. There is also (new to me), in patent law, the man skilled in the art, possibly to become the nerd.
As to the “man skilled in the art”, he is described by Jacob LJ as a ‘nerd’ (paragraphs 7 and 11) and as “not a complete android” (paragraph 10), which suggests that he is part of the way to being an android. A ‘nerd’ is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary (10th Edition 1999) as “a person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious” and an ‘android’, in the same work, as “(in science fiction) a robot with a human appearance”. I hope that those working in this field will not regard “men skilled in the art” as figures from science fiction who lack social skills. Jacob LJ, will think me less than supportive of the development of the language of the law but I do respectfully prefer, for its clarity, Lord Reid’s terminology cited at paragraph 7 of the judgment”.
The IPKAT wonders, as do I, if this is the right definition. Of course, the Concise Oxford no longer has the reputation it once did. A commenter quotes the OED: ‘A person excessively interested in something and finds it hard to get along with people’, and links to the nerd test (500 questions, many only for Americans, which may explain why I’m 81% nerd pure).