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Antedating a reference
Camran Nezhat, was already in possession of a draft application he received from his patent attorney on January 28, 1998.
The application that issued as the ‘384 patent was filed on May 1, 1998. Nezhat testified that he was working approximately 80 hours per week at his medical practice and performing four to six surgeries each week.
Since the reference was filed less than one year before the application’s filing date, PST attempted to swear behind it with evidence of an earlier date of conception and diligence towards constructive reduction to practice based on the activities of the inventor (Dr. The PTAB focused on three times periods in particular: The Federal Circuit Decision was authored by Judge Moore and joined by Judge O’Malley.
Also, the court held that the PTAB erred by not properly weighing the evidence of diligence under a rule of reason analysis because the PTAB fixated on portions of the critical period where no evidence or specific activities had been provided to conclude that diligence was not continuous.
The court stated that the inventor was not required to corroborate every day the application was worked on, every surgery that he performed, or specify precisely what work was done.
He also presented evidence that he submitted comments to his attorney about the initial draft on March 2, received questions from his attorney on March 4 and 12, participated in a conference with the attorney on March 16, and received a revised application on April 13.
He then testified that he again reviewed the draft prior to its filing on May 1.
Applications and patents that fall under the pre-AIA version of 35 USC § 102 can disqualify a reference that is not a statutory bar under § 102(b) by proving an earlier date of invention.
In accordance with § 102(g): [T]here shall be considered not only the respective dates of conception and reduction to practice of the invention, but also the reasonable diligence of one who was first to conceive and last to reduce to practice, from a time prior to conception by the other. Patent 6,030,384, directed to bipolar surgical instruments.Reasonable diligence must be shown for the period of time just prior to the competing reference’s effective date and ending on the date of the invention’s reduction to practice. The Federal Circuit disagreed that he was required to show continuous exercise of reasonable diligence, but instead held that he must show reasonably continuous diligence.The purpose of this requirement “is to assure that, in light of the evidence as a whole, ‘the invention was not abandoned or unreasonably delayed.’” Slip Op. Under that standard, the court stated that an inventor is not required to work on reducing his invention to practice every day during the critical period and periods of inactivity do not automatically require a finding of no diligence.A split panel of the Federal Circuit held that the PTAB applied a standard that was too exacting when it required an inventor to prove the “continuous exercise of reasonable diligence” to antedate a prior art reference. Olympus America identified a Japanese Patent Application published on February 10, 1998, as prior art that both anticipated and rendered obvious the ’384 patent.Rather, the PTAB should have applied the rule of reason to determine if the inventor proved that there was “reasonably continuous diligence.” , Case No. As of that publication date, the inventor, a surgeon named Dr.When swearing behind a reference, the critical period for diligence runs from the day before the reference was published through the date of actual or constructive reduction to practice of the invention. The patent was granted from an application filed May 1, 1998.The IPR was based on Japanese Application Publication H10-33551, published February 10, 1998. Some of the activities identified in the Federal Circuit decision include: The PTAB accepted the inventor’s testimony and corroborating evidence, but determined that PST failed to establish “continuous” diligence during the required period., the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision in an Inter Partes Review proceeding, finding that the PTAB imposed too strict a diligence requirement for swearing behind a reference.This case reminds us that proof of conception and diligence towards reduction to practice has relevance outside of interference proceedings, although the ability to swear behind a reference was eliminated for most new applications and patents falling under the America Invents Act (AIA).The court also found that the PTAB “did not properly weigh PST’s evidence under a rule of reason,” but focused on specific dates with no supporting evidence instead of evaluating the evidence as a whole.” The court also criticized the PTAB for “summarily dismissing the activities of … Heslin,” stating that “[a]n attorney’s work in preparing a patent application is evidence of an inventor’s diligence.” The court vacated and remanded to the PTAB to decide “whether all of PST’s evidence, considered as a whole and under a rule of reason, collectively corroborates Dr.Nezhat’s testimony that he worked reasonably continuously within the confines of his and Mr.