Metallizing Engineering Co. v. Kenyon Bearing & Auto Parts Co. (901422128)

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Read for 2/18/11

Reading Notes

  • Decided in the Circuit Court of Appeals in 1946
    • Lower court held patent valid and infringed
  • Patent issue in May 1943 for conditioning a metal surface so it is capable of bonding spray metal better
    • Metalizing was the old way of doing this, used for thirty years before Meduna's invention (
    • His invention was supposed to prepare worn surfaces for rebuilding
  • His process, although with a different purpose, used the McQuay-Norris machine
  • Question of his public use of the process more than one year before date of application
    • Accept the findings of the district judge - "inventor's main purpose in his use of the process prior to application, and especially in respect to all jobs for owners not known to him, was commercial and an experimental purpose was subordinate"
      • Also found that the use was secret and therefore its commercial character did prevent it from invalidating the patent
  • District judge based his decision on precedents which this court now says they should overrule
    • Said a patent for a machine was valid even though its products were freely sold but now say that the distinction made between a process and a machine was incorrect
  • Reverse the judgment and dismiss the infringement charges

Statutory Bars

  • Now public use is limited to one year
  • Public use for the sake of experimentation does not ban patentability
  • Conditions from Revised Statutes
    • Not been in public use or on sale for more than two years prior
    • Not been proved to have been abandoned
  • If an inventor withholds his invention from the public for his own gain he should not be protected
    • Patentee is not allowed to benefit from the sale or use of his invention without forfeiting his rights
  • There is a distinction between abandonment and forfeiture by public use

Class Notes