Executive misconduct affects patent enforceability
Abstract: Inequitable conduct can leave an otherwise valid and infringed patent unenforceable. But just whose inequitable conduct is a threat? This article describes one case in which the Federal Circuit weighed in on the enforceability of the patent of a company whose president withheld material information. Although the president wasn’t the inventor or the patent filer, he owed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a “duty of candor” because he was “substantively involved” in the preparation of the patent application. A sidebar discusses a dissenting opinion.