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Case Summaries on Patent Law

Case Summaries on Patent Law

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Published by Yin Huang / 黄寅

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Yin Huang / 黄寅 on Dec 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/08/2015

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An inventor may not patent a product that has already entered wide-
spread public use. Pennock had invented a new kind of hose, which
was less prone to leaking than existing types of hoses. Instead of ap-
plying for a patent right away, Pennock practiced the invention as a
trade secret for seven years. During that period, Pennock sold more
than 13,000 feet of his hose and permitted a thid party (Jenkins) to
produce the hose. Although Pennock ultimately obtained a patent on
the hose, the Court invalidated the patent on the ground that the in-
vention was already widely available to the public when the patent
was filed. “If an inventor should be permitted to hold back . . . the
secrets of his invention,” said the Court, “[until] the danger of competi-
tion should force him to secure the exclusive right [of a patent], . . .
[such a rule] would materially retard the progress of science and the
useful arts.”

CASE SUMMARIES ON PATENT LAW

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