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In re Hall - 781 F.2d 897 (Fed. Cir. 1986)

Rule:

The "printed publication" bar is found in 35 U.S.C.S. § 102(b), which provides that a person shall be entitled to a patent unless the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States.

Facts:

Appellant applied for reissue of a patent. The application included, in an appendix, a copy of a doctoral thesis that was found to have been available as a printed publication more than one year prior to the application's filing date. Based principally on the printed publication bar under 35 U.S.C.S. § 102(b), the application was rejected. The board of appeals sustained the rejection, and appellant sought review.

Issue:

Does the “printed publication” rule apply in appellant’s patent application?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court held that evidence in the record established a prima facie case for unpatentability of the claims under § 102(b) and that the evidence was unrebutted. The court also held that the evidence showed that the doctoral thesis at issue was available as a printed publication under the applicable statute and that a single catalogued copy constituted sufficient accessibility under the statute.

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