In 1970, Frank E. Paulik (plaintiff) formulated a novel process for producing alkylidene diesters and submitted the details of the invention to the Monsanto Company, the assignee of Paulik’s inventions. However, Monsanto did not prioritize the invention for several years, and work toward filing a patent application did not resume until early 1975. The application was ultimately filed in June 1975. In the interim, Nabil Rizkalla and Charles N. Winnick (Rizkalla) (defendants) filed a patent application for the same invention with an effective date of March 1975. The United States Patent and Trademark Office Board of Patent Interferences (the Board) granted priority of invention to Rizkalla, holding that Paulik’s four-year delay between the reduction to practice and the filing date amounted to suppression and concealment under 35 U.S.C. § 102(g). Paulik appealed the decision.