In Re Cygnus Telecommunications Tech., LLC. (07-1328)
Cygnus is the assignee of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,883,964 and 6,035,027 that were found invalid by a district court under the on-sale bar provision of 35 U.S.C. § 102(b). On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with the district court.
A patent is invalid under section 102(b) if, over one year prior to applying for a patent, “the invention was ready for patenting and was the subject of a commercial sale or offer for sale…. An invention can be found to be ‘ready for patenting’ in at least the following ways: by proof that it was reduced to practice, or by proof that the inventor had prepared drawings or other descriptions of the invention that were sufficiently specific to enable a person skilled in the art to practice the invention.”
Here, while applying for a patent, the inventor stated to the Patent Office that the invention was reduced to practice over a year before applying for a patent. Further, the inventor had charged others to use the invention over a year before applying for a patent. Thus, the invention was ineligible for patent protection.