In re Hall (901422128)

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Read for 3/21/11

Reading Notes

  • Affirmed by CAFC in 1986 on appeal from the PTO Board
    • Rejected claims 1-25 of an application filed 2/27/79 based on "printed publication" bar
  • Reference in this case is a doctoral thesis
    • Must determine if the thesis is available as a "printed publication" one year prior
  • Dissertation was submitted in September 1977 in Germany
    • Copies were received in the library of Freiburg University in 11/77 and made available to the student body and general public in 12/77
  • Examiner determined the thesis was available prior to the critical date
    • Hall challenged that there was not enough evidence to to specify the date of public availability
      • He relied upon a case with very different facts
  • Date established was significantly before the critical date (2.5 months)

Prior Art

  • 102 b is grounded on the principle that once an invention is in the public domain it is not longer patentable
  • "Public accessibility" has become the touchstone for determining what constitutes a "printed publication"
  • No precedent that accessibility can only be shown by evidence establishing a specific date

Class Notes