Case Note: Rosaire v. Baroid Sales
Does the earlier experiment by Gulf Corp. invalidate the patents of Rosaire as the inventions were known or used?
Yes, as the earlier experiments constituted prior knowledge and use according to Sec 102 (a), they invalidated the patents.
Rosaire and Horvitz patents relate to the methods of prospecting for oil or other hydrocarbons. The methods claimed involve the steps of taking a number of samples of soil from formations which are not themselves productive of hydrocarbons, either over a horizontal area or a vertical down. Rosaire alleged that Baroid was infringing its patent. Baroid claimed invalidity on the ground of anticipation. Rosaire admitted that Teplitz for the Gulf Oil Corporation conceived of the idea of extracting and quantitatively measuring entrained or absorbed gas from the samples of rock before him.
Rosaire claims that Gulf Corp.’s experiment was unsuccessful and they had abandoned their invention. Unsuccessful experiment, later abandoned cannot invalidate subsequent patent and does not negate novelty in that. Though this proposition is true the court held that nevertheless, the existence and operation of a machine, abandoned after its completion and sufficient use to demonstrate its practicability, is evidence that the same ideas incorporated in a later development along the same line do not amount to invention.