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In re Wright

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
999 F.2d 1557 (1993)


Facts

Wright (applicant) filed a patent application claiming processes for making living vaccines that warded off viruses. The application contained a general disclosure of the invention, but only one actual example. Some of Wright’s claims were allowed by the patent examiner, but Wright seeks broader protection than his single example in other claims. The patent examiner rejected the broader claims for a lack of enablement. The examiner alleged that, as of Wright’s filing date, one of skill in the art would require additional research beyond the specification to make and use the invention Wright was claiming, an allegation supported by prior art literature on the HIV virus. Wright appealed to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, which affirmed the examiner’s rejection, primarily on the basis that Wright only enabled one example, far narrower than what he claimed. Wright then appealed to the Federal Circuit.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rich, C.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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