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General Talking Pictures Corp. v. Western Electric Co.
United States Supreme Court
304 U.S. 175 (1938)
Western Electric Company (plaintiff) held seven patents involving recording technology. Western Electric sought to enjoin infringement of the patents by General Talking Pictures Corporation (defendant). General Talking Pictures argued that Western Electric had made public use of the technology more than two years before the patent applications, thus triggering a statutory bar to validity. In making this argument, General Talking Pictures pointed to divisional patent applications filed by Western Electric—that is, patent applications whose claims were each split off from a parent application. The federal district court held that one of the patents was invalid but the other six were valid and infringed. General Talking Pictures appealed. The federal court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Butler, J.)
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