Law School Case Brief
In re Hall - 781 F.2d 897 (Fed. Cir. 1986)
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.
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.
Does the “printed publication” rule apply in appellant’s patent application?
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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