How Federal Courts Defraud Individual Inventors And Reward Corporate Infringers


        Patent cases involve comparisons of prior art Patent A with an owner's Patent B which show whether Patent B is invalid A=B (B same A) or is valid BA (B different A). Patent cases also involve comparisons of an owner's Patent B with an alleged infringer's Patent C which show whether Patent C is invalid C=B (C same B) or is valid CB (C different B).

        Assume Patent A is prior art to Patent B and Patent B is prior art to Patent C. An owner of Patent B who alleges its infringement by an infringer-owner of Patent C faces a defense of invalidity of his Patent B by Patent A asserted by the alleged infringer. Logically there are four possible outcomes.

                            Outcome           Patent B         Patent C                 Outcome Favors

                                 A=B=C             invalid              invalid                    Both lose patents plus costs                

                            A=BC             invalid              valid                       Alleged Infringer

                            AB=C             valid                 invalid                    Patent Owner

                                ABC             valid                 valid                       Both incur costs                                                                            

        Legally, the trial procedure does not meet the logical procedure. Logically, while a patent owner seeks to prove AB=C an infringer-owner seeks to prove A=BC. Neither party seeks to prove A=B=C or ABC as these outcomes involve costs at best (ABC) or costs and loss of patent rights at worst (A=B=C). Legally, however, the outcome of a patent trial is usually framed to determine A=B (preferred by the alleged infringer-owner of Patent C) on grounds it is uneconomical to find infringement of invalid Patent B by Patent C (B=C). This was the author's case in James Constant v. Advanced Micro-Devices, Inc., 848 F.2d 1560, 7 USPQ 2d 1057 (Fed. Cir.), cert. denied, 988 U.S. 892 (1988) (hereafter "AMD"). Thus, in the AMD case the courts found A=B, but made no comparisons between C and B.1

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