Law School Case Brief
Metals Corp. v. Banner - 778 F.2d 775 (Fed. Cir. 1985)
Anticipation under 35 U.S.C.S. § 102 can be found only when the reference discloses exactly what is claimed, and where there are differences between the reference disclosure and the claim, the rejection must be based on 35 U.S.C.S. § 103 which takes differences into account.
Appellee's employees sought a patent on a titanium alloy they developed containing a minimum of iron and small portions of nickel and molybdenum in ratios that made the alloy corrosion resistant. Their application was rejected on the ground that the claims were anticipated or obvious from an article in a Russian metallurgy journal that contained graphs with the same ratios but not describing the resulting corrosion resistance. The lower court held that the patent should have been issued.
Was the rejection of the employees' patent application based on the anticipated claims in a Russian journal valid?
The lower court's decision authorizing the issuance of a patent to appellee for an alloy with a particular property was reversed because the composition of the alloy was anticipated by an article in a Russian metallurgy journal that described a range of compositions but not the properties of the alloy. The court determined that the recitation of ranges in the Russian article covered several compositions, including appellee's claims. The court held that the corrosion resistance discovered for a particular range did not change the fact that the article anticipated that range.
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