Monday, August 22, 2005

Broadcast v. Charter: priority date confusion by district court resolved by CAFC

The district court's determination of patent invalidity under 102(b) was reversed because of an error about priority date.

The patent in question was US 6,076,094.

The inventor initially disclosed the invention in a series of 3 Australian patent applications, later consolidated in one PCT application (AU/93/00607).

The district court based invalidity on the absence of a reference to the PCT on the face of the '094 patent.

The CAFC noted that where proper reference to a national stage application exists, no reference to the corresponding PCT is required. The '094 patent did reference other US patents in the patent family, the '595 and the '934. The '595 was the national stage application of the PCT. The '934 was a continuation, and the '094 was a divisional thereof.


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