W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. v. Garlock, Inc., 721 F.2d 1540 (1983) Notes

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Appeal of District Ct

Gore makes this magical Teflon-like material by discovered method of stretching really fast

called magical, etc

Garlock was asked to make a knock-off brand by a customer, and Garlock advertised it as a new form of PTFE

11/2/79 - Gore sues Garlock over processes patent (566)

12/18/79 - Garlock claims invalid, no infringement, etc

2/7/80 - Gore's 2nd suit on product patent (390)


District Ct says

(on processes 566 patent):

  • 102(a) - claim 1 anticipated by 401 machine and Budd's Cropper machine
  • 102(b) - all invalid bc on sale for more than 1 yr by Bud
  • 103 - obviousness of some claims wrt various pairings of old patents
  • 112(?) - all invalid as indefinite

(on product 390 patent):

  • many invalid under 102, 103
  • all invalid under 112

- no fraud

-Garlock doesnt get attourney fees

-don't touch infringement issue


CCPA says:

legal errors:

  • invention not considered as a whole
  • 102(b) shouldn't have been applied
  • didn't assess references entirely
  • inherency
  • .....

1. invalidity

a. 566 patent

i. 102(a)

  • true as DC says, claim 1 invalid bc all it claims is >10%/sec and >35 degC, which were both done by his dad's 401 machine which had already been made]

ii. 102(b) on sale by Budd a yr b4

  • it wasn't even public use, it was kept private by Bud. Plus, didnt consider claims independently and didnt prove inventions as a whole were practiced by Budd b4 critical date.
  • Budd sold tape, not the process, which is what the patent is for

iii. 103

  • applies to some claims
  • CCPA says Teflon different from other polymers, so couldnt have been predicted - unexpected results
  • also went against teaching at the time of stretching slower
  • 17 still invalid (double length, which was already done), others nonobvious
  • leaves 3, 19

b. 390 patent

  • pretty much same reasoning as for first patent, CCPA holds all claims valid

c. how 112 pertains to both

  • 112 - disclosure

2. Fraud

3. lawyer fees