Does a Slideshow Show Too Much? In re Klopfenstein Revisited

In re Lister, the Federal Circuit repeatedly cited In re Klopfenstein, 380 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (link below), a decision that held that a poster presentation that was available for viewing at a meeting for 2-3 days was a “printed publication” under 102(b). This decision has lots of interesting dicta that indicates, for example, that a slideshow with an oral presentation would not necessarily be considered a “printed publication” if no printed copies were available since the slides were only transiently visible. A thesis defense per se would also not be considered a printed publication. Even the brief display of a poster may not qualify as a printed publication, and presentation of the poster at a meeting with a non-copying notice may have disqualified the poster as a printed publication.

So if “your professor” tells you that he or she disclosed the invention in a slideshow or a poster at a scientific meeting, don’t assume that all rights are gone, or even that absolute novelty has been lost abroad. I spoke to a UK associate some years ago who told me that the burden of proof imposed by the court on a defendant who tries to rely on an oral presentation or slideshow as novelty-destroying is extremely high. (I won’t go into detail here, since associates may well differ on this point, and you should contact your own, of course.) ‘Nuff said!

In Re Klopfenstein.pdf

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