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McElmurry v. Arkansas Power & Light Co.
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
995 F.2d 1576 (1993)
McElmurry (plaintiff) sued Arkansas Power & Light Co. (AP&L) (defendant) for infringing a patent claiming a system for use in collecting particulate matter during a coal burning process. Bowman and Roberts, consultant and employee, respectively, for AP&L developed the patented invention while working for and at the direction of AP&L. Once on his own, Bowman licensed the invention to McElmurry and sought to market it to companies, including AP&L. McElmurry failed to win a bid for certain work involving selling and installing the invention. AP&L then provided the specifications for the invention to a third party company to build and install the invention in AP&L’s power plants, which gave rise to the suit. The District Court held on summary judgment that AP&L had shop rights in the invention, and McElmurry appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rich, C.J.)
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