Cummins-Allison Corp. v. Glory Ltd., No. 02 C 7008, 2007 WL 487564 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 12, 2007) (Kendall, J.).
Judge Kendall denied summary judgment of invalidity for defendant in this patent dispute (you can find the Court’s prior claim construction ruling here). Defendant argued that plaintiff’s public use of money-counting machines embodying the patented inventions in banks more than one year before filing of the patent application invalidated the patents pursuant to 35 U.S.C. Section 102(b). Defendant relied upon the testimony of several bank employees that the machines were beta-tested by banks in locations that bank patrons could see without signing any confidentiality agreements. But plaintiff put forth evidence that defendant had taken steps to keep the use confidential and that, even if the use was public, it was only an experimental use which does not create a Section 102(b) bar. Based on the conflicting evidence, the Court held that there were questions of material fact as to the patents’ validity and, therefore, denied summary judgment.