Russian to create an invention in to the U.S.
Solvay v. Honeywell and §102(g) invention “in this country”
Although recent statutory revisions did away with 35 U.S.C. §102(g), patents by having an effective ?ling date before 16 March 2013 continue to be controlled by that old law. Section 102(g) provides that:
An individual will be titled to some patent unless… before such person’s invention thereof, the invention is made within this country by another inventor who’d not abandoned, covered up, or hidden it. In figuring out priority of invention under this subsection, there will be considered not just the particular dates of conception and reduction to rehearse from the invention, but the reasonable diligence of 1 who had been ?rst to get pregnant and last to lessen to rehearse, from the time just before conception through the other. [emphasis added]
These provisions were in the centre from the recent decision in Solvay S.A. v. Honeywell Worldwide (Judge Dyk writing for themself and Chief Judge Rader Judge Newman dissenting).
Chloro?uorocarbons (CFCs) have numerous industrial uses, but regrettably CFCs have undesirable effects around the stratospheric ozone layer. In 1989, laws and regulations to apply the Montréal Protocol mandated the phase-from CFCs. These laws and regulations motivated many scientists to operate on developing ozone-safe chemicals to exchange CFCs. One of the most helpful CFC replacements is 1,1,1,3,3-penta?uoropropane (sometimes known through the trade name HFC-245fa). Researchers in the Russian Scienti?c Center for Applied Chemistry (RSCAC) spent a lot of the first 1990s developing industrially practical ways to manufacture HFC-245fa.
In 1994 Honeywell began some pot research agreement using the chemical engineers at RSCAC to master their processes. Russian inventors sent protocols to engineers at Honeywell, who replicated the Russian processes within the U . s . States.
Solvay owns US 6,730,817 (‘817), which claims “[i]n a procedure for that preparation of [HFC-245fa]…, the advance which comprises transporting the reaction in a temperature and within pressure where [HFC-245fa] is gaseous and isolating and [HFC-245fa] in the reaction mixture by drawing off [HFC-245fa]… inside a gaseous phase as… [it] has been created.” Both Solvay and Honeywell manufacture hydro?uorocarbons including HFC-245fa, and both used manufacturing processes included in Solvay’s ‘817 patent. When Solvay sued Honeywell for violation, the district court held that Honeywell would infringe Solvay’s claim, however that the claim is invalid as anticipated under §102(g)(2). It’s well-established that invention can happen “in this country” where conception occurs abroad, however the invention will be reduced to rehearse within this country by agents acting with respect to the foreign inventor. Holmwood v. Sugavanam, 948 F.2d 1236, 1238 (Given. Cir. 1991).
Solvay defended ‘817’s validity for the reason that §102(g) is restricted to invention “made within this country.” Solvay advanced three speci?c arguments why Honeywell’s U.S. reduction to rehearse of RSCAC’s idea didn’t satisfy §102(g)’s “in this country” requirement: (1) RSCAC just conveyed the protocols to Honeywell, but never clearly requested that Honeywell carry out the measures in the U.S. (2) nothing about Honeywell’s performance from the procedures inured to RSCAC’s bene?t and (3) Solvay alleged deficiencies in diligence between RSCAC’s conception and Honeywell’s U.S. reduction to rehearse. The Government Circuit could not agree with all these arguments.
Regarding the ?rst argument, the government Circuit ?rst reported Cooper v. Goldfarb, 154 F.3d 132, 1332 (Given. Cir. 1998) for that proposition that the express request is not required. A legal court then looked to Learned v. Thompson, 191 F.2d 409, 415 (C.C.P.A. 1951) for guidance by what counts being an implicit request. Learned had sent an account of his invention to some U.S. government agency given the job of thinking about technology with military relevance. The federal government switched the invention to an worker named Hunter, who not just reduced the described device to rehearse without Learned’s understanding or consent, but additionally made enhancements and ?brought a patent application around the improvement. The Learned court held that Learned could claim the bene?t of Hunter’s reduction to rehearse date, because Learned had approved the U.S. government to make use of the invention.
The panel majority within the instant situation reasoned that RSCAC had evidenced a minimum of just as much authorization for Honeywell to rehearse RSCAC’s manufacturing methods as had Learned, so Honeywell was acting with RSCAC’s implicit authorization. Therefore, the possible lack of an explicit request by RSCAC that Honeywell practice RSCAC’s methods wasn’t germane towards the §102(g) inquiry.
Concerning the second argument, Solvay noticed that, underneath the agreement between RSCAC and Honeywell, RSCAC owns a Russian patent around the manufacturing technique and Honeywell owns a U.S. patent. None of RSCAC chemists were named as inventors on Honeywell’s patent application. Therefore, Solvay contended that Honeywell’s actions within the U . s . States didn’t “inure towards the bene?t of” RSCAC, as needed by Cooper, 154 F.3d at 1332. However, as this condition of matters-RSCAC owning exclusive legal rights towards the process in Russia Honeywell owning exclusive legal rights within the U.S.-was clearly considered through the joint research agreement, a legal court figured Honeywell’s U.S. actions still inured to RSCAC’s bene?t. In other words, despite the fact that RSCAC didn’t own any area of the U.S. patent, RSCAC had still received its bargained-for compensation.
Finally, Solvay contended that neither the Russian patent nor the U.S. patent described enough detail concerning the processes that Honeywell performed. Therefore, Solvay contended that RSCAC/Honeywell had “concealed” the invention inside the concept of using the word in §102(g). In the district court level, the jury figured the Russian patent reported enough detail concerning the procedure that RSCAC couldn’t be stated to possess “concealed” the procedure. Solvay v. Honeywell, 886 F. Supp.2d 396, 404 (D. Del. 2012). Even though the Federal Circuit didn’t discuss this time at length, it upheld the jury’s ?nding.
Quite simply, RSCAC invented the claimed process before Solvay. The RSCAC then disclosed the procedure inside a Russian patent application, and sent instructions to Honeywell on how to carry out the process. Honeywell acted on these instructions within the U.S. According to this mixture of occasions, the government Circuit figured the Russian inventors had invented “in this country” before Solvay, without “conceal[ing]” the invention.
Judge Newman dissented out of this conclusion, quarrelling that allowing the key activities of U.S. labs you may anticipate a U.S. patent under §102(g)(2) results in a new type of possible secret prior art. Judge Newman tried to distinguish the instances that almost all reported by noting the reported cases concerned interferences under §102(g)(1), instead of §102(g)(2).
Obviously, because the Solvay court notes (slip op. at 2) §102(g) obtained care of out, getting been removed through the recent American Invents Act. It’ll linger on for several years yet, since the old law is constantly on the govern patents ?brought prior to the change of law, but eventually this ruling will cease to matter regarding anticipation.
The more-term signi?cance of the opinion may well be its impact on de?ning what counts as invention “in the united states.Inches Even just in the publish-AIA world, invention “in this country” is constantly on the affect the requirement for an overseas-?ling license under 35 U.S.C. §184. Although not completely obvious if the needs for invention “in this country” are identical for §§ 102 and 184, the limited authority about this point holds that they’re. Sealectro Corp. v. L.V.C. Indust., 153 U.S.P.Q. 610, 614 (E.D.N.Y. 1967). Therefore, it’s possible this situation could still affect worldwide joint ventures despite §102(g) has faded from U.S. patent law. If that’s the case, this situation underscores the interest that must definitely be compensated, when drafting an worldwide partnership agreement, to conform with a number of different countries’ laws and regulations concerning inventions produced in each jurisdiction.
The entire opinion can be obtained here.