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In re Deuel

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
51 F.3d 1552 (1995)


Deuel (appellant) and others filed a patent application claiming purified and isolated DNA and cDNA genetic sequences. Due to the nature of genetic discovery, Deuel did not disclose the structure of or how to obtain more than two cDNA molecules, even though the claims encompass many more molecules than those disclosed. The patent examiner rejected the claims as obvious under 35 U.S.C. §103, which was affirmed by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI). The BPAI noted that, because cloning is well known in the art, once a protein is placed in the public domain, the gene that codes for that protein is also inherently in the public domain. Deuel appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lourie, C.J.)

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