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In re Hall

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
781 F.2d 897 (Fed. Cir. 1986)


Facts

Hall filed a patent application for a doctoral thesis on February 27, 1979. A protest of the application was filed, which included a copy of a dissertation by Peter Foldi. Foldi had submitted his dissertation at a university in Germany in September 1977. The patent examiner rejected Hall’s application on account of the printed publication bar under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b). The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Board of Appeals affirmed. Hall appealed on the grounds that the German university did not know the specific date of the publication of Foldi’s dissertation. A representative for the university did state that the dissertation was sent to the university’s library on November 4, 1977, and therefore the dissertation was “most probably available for general use toward the beginning of the month of December, 1977.”

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Baldwin, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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