56 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 345 (1974)
Fraud on the Patent Office; Dodds, Lawrence B.

handle is hein.journals/jpatos56 and id is 371 raw text is: Lawrence B.       I        FRAUD ON THE
Dodds *          I      PATENT OFFICE*
I - PRE-WALKER PROCESS DECISIONS
Prior to the notorious decision of the Supreme Court
in Walker Process v. Food Machinery (1965)1 the au-
thorities had held that a patent could be attacked for
fraud in its procurement only by the Attorney General
in a suit to cancel the patent-fraud was not available
as a defense in a suit for infringement. This had been
the law for nearly 100 years at the time of the Walker
Process decisions.
One of the earliest and classic decisions was Railroad
Company v. Dub ois 2 in which the Supreme Court noted
that the defendants had pleaded that the letters patent
of the plaintiff were obtained by fraud and imposition
on the Patent Office. The Court then rejected the de-
fense, holding that:
* * * the defendants, when sued for an infringement, were
not at liberty to set up as a defence that the patent had been
fraudulently obtained, no fraud appearing upon its face. (p. 64)
The rule was firmly entrenched in our law by the
classic Supreme Court case of United States v. Bell
Telephone Company3 which was an action by the Gov-
ernment to void certain patents of Alexander Graham
Bell on the ground of alleged fraudulent procurement
from the Patent Office. The principal question decided
by the Court was the power of the Government to pro-
secute such an action. In holding that the Government
did have such power, the Court referred to the statutes
enumerating defenses available to an infringer and said:
* Talk given at Seminar, Government Patent Lawyer's Association,
Arlington, Va., March 27, 1974.
** Vice President & Patent Counsel Hazeltine Corporation Member
of the Bars of District of Columbia and New York.
1382 U.S. 172; 147 USPQ 404.
2 (1870) 79 U.S. 47.
(1888) 128 U.S. 315.

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