filing date : CAFC Alert

The public use bar may not be triggered even if the invention is tested publicly prior to the critical date

| September 14, 2018

Polara Engineering Inc. v. Campbell Company

July 10, 2018

Before Lourie, Dyk, and Hughes.  Opinion by Lourie.


The Federal Circuit affirmed the jury’s finding of experimental use that negates application of the public use bar by Polara because Polara’s activities were necessary to ensure that the invention would work for its intended purpose and Polara’s invention was “a life safety device” that the testing was “imperative.”  The Federal Circuit found that while it is undisputed that Polara did not enter a confidentiality agreement, Polara maintained the secrecy of the invention.  Finally, the Federal Circuit found that Polara was not commercially exploiting its invention during the test periods.

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