Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cookies-Functional Web Browser was Ready for Patenting When Initial Draft of Source Code was Logged Into Repository

For purposes of the on-sale bar, a cookies-functional web browser was "ready for patenting" prior to the critical date of the patent-in-suit. Even though the web browser was not released until after the critical date, the evidence showed that the inventor "logged a draft of the http cookies source code into the Netscape source code repository prior to [the critical date]." "[I]t is well settled that the [Pfaff v. Wells Elecs., Inc., 525 U.S. 55 (1998)] test may be satisfied despite the patentee's continued refinement of the invention. Accordingly, where, as here, the undisputed record evidence shows that draft cookies source code existed [prior to the critical date], the second Pfaff prong is satisfied. Moreover, with respect to inventions involving computer code, Pfaff simply requires complete conception of the invention, not the source code's actual completion, provided that there is an enabling disclosure that would allow one skilled in the art to complete the invention."

Netscape Communications Corp., v. Valueclick, Inc. et al., 1-09-cv-00225 (VAED January 29, 2010, Memorandum & Opinion) (Ellis, J.)

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