United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit. Mark BRUCKELMYER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. GROUND HEATERS, INC., Defendant, and T.H.E. Machine Company, Defendant-Appellee. No. 05-1412. April 20, 2006.
Background: Patentee appealed from decision of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Donovan W. Frank, J., 2005 WL 1155938, granting summary judgment of invalidity of two patents in favor of competitors.
Holding: The Court of Appeals, Lourie, Circuit Judge held that Canadian patent application, including two figures associated with it, was “publicly accessible,” and thus was a “printed publication” under statute establishing conditions for patentability. Affirmed.
This was a fairly simple case about a patent for thawing frozen ground in order to lay concrete above the ground. The plaintiff felt that the defendents were violating his patent. The defendents pointed to a patent filed more than one year before the plaintiffs patent that made his patent obvious in light of the prior art. The patent was on file and publically available in the Canadien Patent Office. The district court granted summary judgement in favor of the defendent ruling invalidity under 102(b). The plaintiff appealled to the federal circuit court and the judgement of invalidity was affirmed.