Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Metallizing Engineering Co. v. Kenyon Bearing & Auto Parts case brief

Metallizing Engineering Co. v. Kenyon Bearing & Auto Parts case brief summary
153 F.2d 516 (1946)

Defendants appealed a judgment from the United States District Court of a District in New York, which held to be valid and infringed all but three of the claims of a reissued patent that had been issued to plaintiff's assignor.

The district judge found that plaintiff inventor's main purpose in his use of his process more than one year before the date of application was secret, and for that reason its predominantly commercial character was prevented from invalidating the patent.


  • The reviewing court overruled the case relied on by the lower court in reaching its decision. 
  • The court held that, if plaintiff went beyond the period of probation, he forfeited his right regardless of how little the public may have learned about his invention. 
  • Plaintiff could continue for more than a year to practice his invention for his private purposes of his own enjoyment, and later patent it. 
  • But that was not an exception to the doctrine, for he was not then making use of his secret to gain a competitive advantage over others, and did not thereby extend the period of his monopoly.
The court reversed the trial court's judgment and dismissed the complaint because the secrecy of plaintiff's invention did not validate its use more than one year before the patent application was made.

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