Homework 7: In re Hall Supplementary Case
In 1989, the District Court heard American Standard Inc. v. Pfizer Inc. American Standard held the patent for a bone implant coating that induced bone ingrowth by virtue of its porosity. They sued Pfizer for their line of PCA products which utilized the same principles. Because the patent was initially awarded, it is up to the defendants (Pfizer) to prove that it is invalid. A doctoral thesis was published June 14, 1968 detailing the same process; American Standard argued that the thesis, though written, wasn't published before the date of conception (May 24, 1968). The defense argued that the doctors who published the thesis conceived of the invention in 1967; the Court ruled that they did not sufficiently prove this. However, for other reasons (mainly prior discussions of porosity and other bodies of prior art), the patent was found invalid under obviousness.