"Who Owes a Duty of Candor to the PTO?" R. Eric Gaum, Esq. and Meghan Sheehan, Law Clerk

Recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) clarified who may owe a duty of candor to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) other than the inventor(s) and prosecuting attorney/agent. In Avid Identification Systems, Inc. v. The Crystal Import Corp., the president of a company committed inequitable conduct sufficient to render a patent unenforceable when he did not disclose prior trade show demonstrations to the USPTO during the applications pendency. The CAFC ruled that persons are substantially involved, and therefore owe a duty of candor to the USPTO, when their involvement "relates to the content of the application or decisions related thereto."