Appellate Brief for Petitioner (January 1939) in The Electric Storage Battery Co., Petitioner, v. Genzo Shimadzu and Northeastern Engineering Corporation, Respondents (RCTA)

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Questions Addressed

  1. Whether Shimadzu can by oral evidence of earlier conception take the date of his inventions back of June 1921.
  2. Whether the patents, if otherwise valid, are invalidated by Shimadzu's suppressing, concealing, and withholding his inventions
  3. Whether the commercial use by the petitioner is a public use and a bar to patentability

Undisputed Facts

  1. Petitioner began commercial production in June 1921
  2. Shimadzu made no disclosure of his inventions to anyone in the U.S. prior to filing
  3. Shimadzu has no foreign patent for 1,896,020
  4. Upon evidence of oral testimony, drawings, and purported copies of alleged notebook entries, Courts below found date of invention as no later than August 1919.
  5. Lower court: "We are not concerned with the motives which prompted him, in taking out the '563 patent, to confine it to a single step [...] and to withhold the really essential steps of the invention for later patenting. It is sufficient to say that he had the right to do this if he chose."
  6. Respondents themselves proved that petitioner's process and apparatus were not secret.
  7. The inventions of petitioner's process and apparatus were made wholly independently of Shimadzu.

Timeline

  • 08/??/1919: Alleged foreign invention
  • 11/20/1920: Japanese patent 41,728 (alleged 1,584,149)
  • 11/27/1920: Japanese patent 42,563 (alleged 1,584,149)
  • 06/??/1921: Petitioner's public use in U.S.
  • 01/30/1922: Filed patent 1,584,149
  • 07/14/1923: Japanese patent 42,563 (alleged 1,584,150) AND filed patent 1,584,150
  • 04/27/1926: Filed patent 1,896,020