Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prosecution Counsel's Workload No Explanation for Failure to Disclose

In determining plaintiff's patent was unenforceable following a trial on inequitable conduct, the court rejected prosecution counsel's explanation that a failure to notify was a result of his workload and not an intent to deceive. "Although [the inventor's] conduct suffices to support a finding of inequitable conduct, [prosecution counsel's] actions also independently justify an inequitable conduct finding. . . . When confronted about his failure to notify [the examiner] about the rejections in the [related] Applications, [counsel] stated that he had roughly 170 open applications on his docket during the prosecution of the [application of the patent-in-suit]. Any possible weight that the Court could have given this explanation was significantly diminished when [counsel] subsequently admitted that at the time [one prior art] Reference was cited in [one of the related applications], he had less than a handful on his docket belonging to [the inventor]."

1st Media LLC v. doPi Karaoke, Inc. et al., 2-07-cv-01589 (NVD April 23, 2010, Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law) (Mahan, J.)

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