Sewall v. Walters Still Good Law?
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Is Sewall v. Walters Still Good Law?1

By Charles L. Gholz2and W. Todd Baker 3

Introduction

Interferences have traditionally come in three “flavors”: so-called priority disputes (which, despite the name, are actually usually decided on the basis of non-priority issues, such as patentability and claim correspondence), derivation disputes, and inventorship disputes.4 With the passage of the America Invents Act (hereinafter referred to as “the AIA”),5 priority disputes are on their way out, and derivation interferences have largely been replaced by derivation proceedings.6 But how about inventorship disputes a la Sewall v. Walters, 21 F.3d 411, 30 USPQ2d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (opinion delivered by Circuit Judge Rich for a panel that also consisted of Chief Circuit Judge Archer and Senior Circuit Judge Lay of the Eighth Circuit)?7

What Sewall v. Walters Held

Sewall v. <...

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