These questions have to do with experimental use and 102(b) rejections. Experimental use doesn’t start the one year clock for 102(b), but using the invention in a non-experimental way (even in a stupid way) starts the one year clock for 102(b). It doesn’t matter if no one knew about the invention (e.g., corset) or could tell that the use was “public”.
Lip Gloss (Test takers report fact pattern variants for the lip gloss question.)
Kissing at Parties –
The inventor publicly used a lip gloss she invented by kissing people at parties for over a year. There was a red herring about the inventor not telling people how the lip balm worked. (There may have also been some other fact about the nature of the parties to indicate how public they were.) Answer – 102(b) bar; public use doesn’t require that the claimed invention be enabled as opposed to a publication. There was nothing to indicate that the kissing was for experimental reasons (at least not for perfecting the invention).
Gag Gift – The inventor used her product for experimentation then as a gag item before filing. Experimental use of lip gloss is not a 102(b) statutory bar; however, giving it away to your friends as a gag gift is a 102(b) bar. It was experimental use until she ended her experiment and kept using the product
Ship Bell (latest variant on lip gloss/floor tile) has to do with public use/experimentation. A boat owner invented a new sea bell for his boat & gave copies to all his friends (w/out instructions).