Lorenz v. Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Co (1948) (Robins)
Saddest case ever.
Lorenz invented a way to separate glycerin from soap.
He filed for a patent in 1920.
He tried to sell it to Colgate by speaking to Ittner immediately after. Ittner said he wasn't interested.
His patent application was denied in 1922.
Much later, Ittner filed for a patent in 1931 and in 1933 Colgate began producing the soap.
Lorenz then refiled his patent after finding out Colgate had taken his idea. He filed again in 1934.
His patent was accepted and he filed for interference on Colgate's patent. Colgate had been producing the soap however for more than 2 years. Therefore the judges had to declare Lorenz's patent invalid. Colgate's patent was also ruled to be invalid, as Lorenz had invented it.
Court reiterated that it was very sympathetic to Lorenz, but that this should not influence their decision. It was in public use for 2+ years, so his patent was not valid.