SW Legal studies in Business

Goods Sold More Than One Year Prior to Filing of Patent Application May Not Be Patented
Description Appeals court affirmed that a patent was invalid, so it could not be infringed, because the invention was sold commercially more than one year before the patent application was filed. In such cases, no patent should be issued.
Topic Intellectual Property
Key Words Patents; On-Sale Bar
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Robotic owns the '227 patent that discloses a method of scanning the leads on integrated circuit devices that are arranged in rows and columns on trays. The patent application was filed on June 24, 1992. In 1995, Robotic sued View Engineering, alleging that some of View's scanning machines infringed on the patent. View defended that the patent was invalid. The district court found the patent invalid because it was on sale prior to the critical date of one year before the patent application was filed. The on-sale bar, as elaborated by the Supreme Court in the Pfaff case, states that if an invention is on sale, or is ready for patenting, more than one year prior to the filing of the patent application, it is not eligible for a patent. Robotic appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. Robotic sold its technology to Intel in March, 1991, more than one year prior to the filing date of the '227 patent. The product sold at that time, while not identical in every respect to the patent application filed the next year, was complete enough to enable a person skilled in the art to practice the invention. Hence, the product is not eligible for a patent.

Citation Robotic Vision Systems, Inc. v. View Engineering, Inc., 249 F.3d 1307 (Fed. Cir., 2001)

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