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Fujikawa v. Wattanasin

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
93 F.3d 1559 (1996)


In August 1987, Yoshihiro Fujikawa (plaintiff) received patents for: (1) certain chemical compounds that inhibit the body’s synthesis of cholesterol and (2) the method of using those chemical compounds to treat people with high cholesterol. Fujikawa had developed these inventions overseas. Sompong Wattanasin (defendant) began testing these same chemical compounds in 1982 and worked with them until 1985. Wattanasin’s project was then put on hold for about two years, but he resumed testing in January 1987. Wattanasin’s employer, Sandoz, decided to file a patent application for Wattanasin’s invention in January 1988, and the application was filed in March 1989. Both Fujikawa and Wattanasin asked the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (Board) for an interference. An interference is an administrative proceeding to determine which party should be awarded priority of invention. The Board found that Wattanasin had priority for both patents. Fujikawa appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Clevenger, J.)

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