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Rosaire v. National Lead Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
218 F.2d 72 (5th Cir. 1955)


Rosaire (plaintiff) obtained two patents for methods of prospecting for oil. Rosaire brought suit against the National Lead Co. (National Lead) (defendant) for infringement of those patents. National Lead argued that the patents were invalid because of similar prior work completed by the Gulf Oil Corporation (Gulf). At trial, Rosaire admitted that Gulf had conceived of the patented ideas before Rosaire obtained the patent. But Rosaire argued that Gulf had not published the ideas and that Gulf’s attempt to put the ideas into practice was unsuccessful. National Lead showed that although Gulf did not carry forward its experiments, this was due to Gulf’s need to review the data in the experiment, and not because the experiment was unsuccessful in putting the ideas into practice. The trial court held that the patents were invalid. Rosaire appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Tuttle, J.)

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