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   about "public use" in 102(b)
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   Author  Topic: about "public use" in 102(b)  (Read 3204 times)
wade
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about "public use" in 102(b)
« on: Jun 26th, 2007, 9:35am »
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102(b) says an invention would not be patented if the invention is public use more than one year prior to the date of the application.
what's the exact mean of "public use". if people can not get what the invention is even the invention is public use, this will make a "public use" bar? or as long as the invention is public use more than one year prior to the date of application, the public use bar is encounted?
 
thanks
« Last Edit: Jun 26th, 2007, 9:36am by wade » IP Logged
Patentthis
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Re: about "public use" in 102(b)
« Reply #1 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 9:43am »
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Wade, are you a patent practitioner?  I hope you are not practicing while using this forum as your training ground.
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JimIvey
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Re: about "public use" in 102(b)
« Reply #2 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 3:22pm »
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I think the 2 cases defining that issue are the corsett case and the carpet case.  In the corsett case, the under-structure of a dress was deemed to be publicly used although no one could see it.  In the carpet case, an experimental trial in a conventional hall to assess wear characteristics was deemed not to be a public use, although the carpet was in plain sight in a public place.
 
This isn't a topic I've researched recently, so this may be off a bit.  But I believe that, if the thing is fully revealed in the public and used, it's a public use.  The court noted in the carpet case that no one walking on the carpet had any idea it wasn't your typical, conventional carpet.  If there were signs and leaflets explaining the amazing (and novel) characteristics of the carpet, the court probably would have ruled differently.  And, if the corsett hadn't been fully developed and ready for commercialization (i.e., was used on an experimental basis to determine how a corsett holds up in the rigorous environs of a social party), the court there may have ruled differently.
 
In short, it seems that public use is okay if both experimental and doesn't give away the technology.  Otherwise, use in public, even if the use doesn't fully disclose the technology, is "use in public".
 
And, of course, NDAs are an attempt to eliminate the "public" component.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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Wiscagent
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Re: about "public use" in 102(b)
« Reply #3 on: Jun 27th, 2007, 11:19am »
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The most amusing part of the corset case was that the Supremes noted that the inventor had married his lady friend between the time the application was filed and when the Court reviewed the case.  Apparently in the 19th centrury that was worth mentioning in the decision.
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Richard Tanzer
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Re: about "public use" in 102(b)
« Reply #4 on: Jun 27th, 2007, 3:01pm »
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Here is a link to some potentially relevant case law, including the 'corset' case -
 
Link
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www.criteriondynamics.com
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