Case Imposes New Patent Disclosure Duties

A Federal Circuit decision held that a patent applicant is under a duty to disclose the prosecution history of applications submitted by the same applicant or assignee, even if two related applications are before the same examiner, and another is unrelated, but involves the same technology before a different examiner. The court held that it was inequitable conduct to fail to cite the Office Actions on the related applications to the same examiner, and to the different examiner on the unrelated application. Clearly, patent applicants and their attorneys will need to better disclose all related proceedings. McKesson Info. Solutions, Inc. v. Bridge Med.,Inc., 487 F.3d 897 (Fed. Cir. 2007).