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With patents and research tools, when is private really public?

Editor's note: This article first appeared in Genetic Engineering News (Volume 26, No. 11)

There is good news for inventors. Using an invention secretly in one's own shop, even for a period longer than a year, will not by itself cause a court to invalidate a patent filed later to protect the invention.


Full article >>> Invitrogen developed such a tool and belatedly filed for a patent. After being granted a patent, Invitrogen sued the defendants for their infringing use of a process for producing transformable E. coli cells.

A U.S. District Court in Texas held that whereas the patent was infringed and not invalid for indefiniteness, it was nevertheless invalid because of public use under Section ......

Full article >>> arge for the use of the device, and the invention was not commercially exploited during the critical period. Accordingly, in TP Laboratories, Inc. v. Professional Publishers, Inc., the dentist's patent was held valid.

These cases stand for the general proposition that an agreement of confidentiality or a similar expectation of secrecy may negate a public use where there is no comm......

Full article >>> st occur without any limitation or restriction, or injunction of secrecy.

With regard to the second prong, there was no commercial exploitation of the invention. Accordingly, the facts in the Invitrogen case were insufficient to erect a public use bar to patentability under Section 102(b).

Judge Bryson Rader, the author of the Invitrogen opinion, stated that "comm......

Full article >>> ken and Frank, also in Chicago.


Full article >>>
'"/> By Bratislav Stankovic and Donald J. Silvert 07/31/06

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