Talk:Gould v. Hellwarth, 472 F2d 1383 (1973)

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Courtney

Patent interference proceeding. The Board of Interference Examiners of the United States Patent Office, Interference No. 94,837, awarded priority of invention to junior party, and the senior party appealed. The Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, Lane, J., held that senior party's application for patent on a so-called “Q-switched” or “Giant Pulse” laser was properly denied on ground that the disclosure of the application was not adequate to enable a person skilled in the art to make an operable device. The determinative issue is whether the disclosure of the Gould application was adequate to enable a person skilled in the art to make an operable device ( 35 U.S.C. § 112). We agree with the board that it was not and affirm its decision.

Hellwarth asserted no date of invention prior to Gould's filing date. No priority evidence was submitted by either party and both parties rely on their filing dates.

This brief history of the attainment of the final operating lasers gives firm support to the board's conclusion that the Gould application was insufficient to teach a person skilled in the art how to make a laser. Whether the “person skilled in the art” is viewed in terms of the laser art, even though an operable laser had not yet been made, or with regard to the art to which the laser “is most nearly connected” (35 USC 112) is not material. The board, as well as the witnesses, considered the case in light of what would be taught to a highly trained person knowledgeable in the fields of microwave masers, spectroscopy, atomic physics and aware of published proposals for making a laser, and we do the same.

We conclude that the Gould application involved herein does not provide an enabling disclosure of how to make the subject matter of the counts. The decision of the board awarding priority of invention to Hellwarth is accordingly affirmed.