In fashioning the Covered Business Method (CBM) statutes of the America Invents Act (AIA), Congress was sensitive to the resources of the USPTO. That is, Congress realized that certain types of ”secret prior art” would be very discovery intensive to analyze within the mandated 12 month time frame that the USPTO must conclude a CBM proceeding. An example of such art would be secret public use of a claimed method that predated a patent filing, such as described in Metallizing Engineering Co. v. Kenyon Bearing & Auto Parts Co. 153 F. 2d 516 (CA2 1946). To avoid this type of discovery intensive prior art being applied in CBM proceeding, Congress excluded it under the definition of prior art provided in Section 18(C) of the AIA.
The problem with Section 18 (C) is that its definition of prior art inadvertently excluded 102(e). Read the rest of this entry »