Junker v. Medical Components, Inc.

 
DOCKET NO.
OP. BELOW
SUBJECT
Patent

Question(s) Presented

“Larry Junker brought a patent infringement action against Medcomp and Martech that was successfully tried to the District Court, finding Mr. Junker was the true and sole inventor, rejecting all other invalidity defenses and awarding damages. Before trial, the Court granted summary judgment on the defense of an on-sale bar in favor of Mr. Junker. In 2003 Mr. Junker had successfully litigated the same patent against James Eddings, among others, and a jury found Mr. Eddings had infringed the patent, had violated a non-disclosure agreement, and it awarded Mr. Junker damages, attorney’s fees, and interest. Mr. Eddings had been engaged by Mr. Junker to do development work, yet he improperly ‘quoted’ the sale of the product in 1999 in violation of the non-disclosure agreement and later infringed the patent. In the present case, this ‘quote’ was found by the Court of Appeals to be an offer for sale, notwithstanding the inventor, Mr. Junker, had nothing to do with the offer. Yet his patent was invalidated.”

“The questions presented are:”

“May a price quotation invoke the on-sale bar when made by a third party who had no right to sell the invention and with no involvement by the patentee?”

“May a price quotation invoke the on-sale bar and be deemed an offer though it does not constitute a commercial offer for sale as understood by the relevant business community, thereby fundamentally undermining long-established federal contract law?”

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