Patent Law Keyed to Adelman
Vas-Cath Inc. v. Mahurkar
Defendant designed a double-lumen catheter that allowed blood to be removed from an artery and then returned close to the place of removal. All other catheters were made obsolete by the invention. The design application consisted of three somewhat detailed drawings and was filed on March 8, 1982, but was later abandoned on November 30, 1984. Defendant received a Canadian patent on August 9, 1982. He then filed two utility applications including these drawings, but with additional written descriptions. The most significant description was that one cylindrical portion must have a diameter substantially greater than one-half, but substantially less than one-half of the first cylindrical portion. Mahurkar 9D0 wanted the two utility applications, filed in 1984 to date back to the original filing date of 1982 as continuations of the prior application. Vascath (Plaintiff) sued Defendant for a declaratory judgment that its catheters did not infringe on Defendant's utility patents, and Defendant counterclaimed for infringement. Since the drawings of the original application failed to meet the "written description" requirement, the district court found the continuations did not date back. Defendant appealed.
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