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Fiers v. Revel
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
984 F.2d 1164 (1993)
Three foreign entities filed US patent applications for DNA coding of a particular count known as B-IF to promote viral resistance. An entity referred to as Sugano filed its application in October 1980, claiming priority to a Japanese application filed in March 1980, wherein it disclosed the complete sequence of the B-IF DNA and a method for isolating it. Walter Fiers filed his application in April 1981, attempting to claim priority under 35 U.S.C. § 102(g) based on prior conception in September 1979 or January 1980, when scientists brought his ideas of a proposed method for isolating the DNA to the United States. Fiers argued that his prior conception and due diligence entitled him to an earlier priority date than April 3, 1980, the date he filed a British application disclosing the complete sequence of the B-IF DNA. Michael Revel and Pierre Tiollais (plaintiffs) filed their application on September 28, 1982, claiming priority to an Israeli application filed on November 21, 1979, which did not disclose the complete sequence. The Patent and Trademark Office Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (the board) (defendant) awarded priority to Sugano based on its March 1980 Japanese filing date, after concluding Fiers had not proven conception in accordance with § 102(g) and could claim the benefit of his 1980 British application, and Revel and Tiollais could not claim the benefit of the November 1979 Israeli application.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lourie, J.)
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