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   Infringement-Invalidity Symmetry?
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   Author  Topic: Infringement-Invalidity Symmetry?  (Read 935 times)
Keith
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Infringement-Invalidity Symmetry?
« on: Feb 5th, 2007, 12:15pm »
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Here's a question about the so-called infringement-invalidity symmetry: that which infringes, if later, anticipates, if earlier.
 
An invention that is kept as a trade secret is not considered anticipatory because of the fact that it is kept secret.  My understanding is that someone can thus later get a patent on the invention and turn around and sue the holder of the trade secret.  In this case, the symmetry breaks down because the earlier invention kept as a trade secret infringes yet does not anticipate.
 
Is my understanding correct?  If so, are there other exceptions to the symmetry? Thanks in advance.
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Simon Dack
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Re: Infringement-Invalidity Symmetry?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 20th, 2007, 5:24am »
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Not quite: the holder of the trade secret will generally have a right of prior user which will act as a statutory defence to infringement and which will allow him to continue doing what he was doing before.
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