The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed a lower court’s ruling that a company’s patent was unenforceable because of the company president’s misconduct toward the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office even though he wasn’t the inventor or patent filer.
The April 27 majority panel ruling in Avid Identification Systems Inc. v. Crystal Import Corp. (pdf) affirmed an Eastern District of Texas ruling. The district court found that Avid’s patent for a device to read implanted animal identification chips was valid and infringed, but unenforceable because of Avid president Hannis Stoddard’s inequitable conduct toward the PTO. Specifically, it found that Stoddard’s failure to inform the PTO of his trade show demo of the technology more than a year before the application filing date rendered the patent unenforceable.
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