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Gould v. Schawlow

Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
363 F.2d 908 (1966)


Gould (appellant) and Schawlow (respondent) both filed patent applications claiming a component of a laser, with Schawlow having filed first in July 1958, followed by Gould in April 1959. An interference proceeding was initiated, whereby the right of priority between two inventors of one invention is determined. As the junior party, or the inventor who was second to file, in an interference before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), Gould bore the burden of showing, under 35 U.S.C. §102(g) that he was the prior inventor and that he had engaged in reasonable diligence in reducing the invention to practice from just before Schawlow’s filing date up to his own. After reviewing testimony and a lab notebook by Gould, the BPAI found that certain lapses in diligence could not be accounted for and failed to award him priority, a decision he appealed.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Worley, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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