Is Burying A Material Reference Inequitable Conduct?
July 16, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT
Law360, New York (July 16, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT) -- Inequitable conduct — i.e., when the patentee breaches its duty of candor and good faith to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during prosecution, rendering a patent unenforceable — has become an increasingly common defense to patent infringement. Historically, inequitable conduct allegations involve the failure to submit a material reference or making a misleading statement to the USPTO.
Burying — which entails submitting a material reference with a large number of less material references with the hope that the USPTO will overlook it — is one...