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Case Summaries on Patent Law

Case Summaries on Patent Law

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Publicado porYin Huang / 黄寅

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Yin Huang / 黄寅 on Dec 18, 2010
Direitos Autorais:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Federal Circuit held that prior art does not always need to be dis-
seminated through formal publication. Klopfenstein sought a patent
on double-extruded soy cotyledon fiber (SCF). Compared to existing
single-extruded SCF, Klopfenstein’s SCF exhibited a stronger tendency
to reduce cholesterol in mammals that ingested it. Two years before
applying for the patent, Klopfenstein and colleagues reported the prop-
erties of the double-extruded SCF at two academic conferences. At
each conference, they displayed their results on poster boards. The
court disallowed Klopfenstein’s patent on the ground that the poster
boards constituted a printed publication disclosing the invention.
Neither distribution nor indexation, said the court, was necessary to
turn information into prior art. For the purposes of § 102(b), a printed



publication could consist of any material that was “sufficiently access-
ible to the public interested in the art.”

Reeves Brothers v. United States Laminating Corp., 282
F.Supp. 118 (E.D.N.Y. 1966),
aff’d, 417 F.2d 869 (2d Cir. 1969)

The claims of a foreign patent are prior art. Reeves Brothers sought to
enforce a patent on a process for laminating polyurethane foam and a
machine for performing the lamination. Before applying for the Amer-
ican patent, Reeves Brothers had already obtained a gebrauchsmuster
(GM) (a sort of patent) from the German patent office. The court held
that the claims stated within the GM were prior art.

Alexander Milburn Co. v. Davis-Bournonville Co., 270 U.S. 390
(1926) [421]

The Supreme Court held that valid patents are treated as if they
entered the prior art on the day of filing.

Campbell v. Spectrum Automation Co., 513 F.2d 932 (6th Cir.
1975) [431]

The Sixth Circuit held that “clear and convincing” evidence was re-
quired to demonstrate the invalidity of a patent. Campbell sought to
enforce a patent on a flexible feed track (apparently a sort of conveyor
belt used in manufacturing). A vital component of the feed track was a
spring with a rectangular cross-section. Campbell claimed that Zim-
merman (the founder of Spectrum) had learned of the rectangular
spring while working for him. Zimmerman, however, claimed that he
conceived the spring after noticing that his father wore a belt with a
similar rectangular spring. Zimmerman corroborated his claim with a
photo of his father wearing the belt. Finding Zimmerman’s testimony
and photograph persuasive, the court invalidated Campbell’s patent.

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