Mass Law Blog

Submarines Sunk, Again

by | Sep 15, 2005

Is this the end of an era in patent law? Or just the dropping of the other shoe? Last week in Symbol Technologies, Inc. v. Lemelson Medical, Education and Research Foundation, LP, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (practically the court of last resort in patent matters, since the Supreme Court rarely takes a patent case) ruled that a number of machine vision patents of inventor Jerome Lemelson were unenforceable due to the patentee’s “unreasonable delay” in prosecuting the underlying patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The ruling comes too late for various companies who had already paid millions of dollars to license these patents from Lemelson.

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