21. Mr. Roberts, an American citizen touring a vineyard, saw a unique grape-squeezing
machine in France. The machine was highly efficient, and produced excellent wine. The
vineyard owner was not hiding the machine. It was out of public view and was the only one of
its kind. The vineyard owner had built it himself several years earlier, and no drawing or
technical description of the machine was ever made. The vineyard made only local sales of its
wines. Using his photographic memory, Roberts went back to his hotel and made technical
drawings of what he had seen. Upon his return to the United States, Roberts promptly prepared
and filed a patent application directed to the machine. Which of the following statements is
(A) Roberts may not obtain a patent on the machine because it was known by others
before Mr. Roberts made technical drawings of the machine.
(B) Roberts may not obtain a patent on the machine because wine made by the
machine had been sold more than a year before Roberts’ application filing date.
(C) Roberts is entitled to a patent because a goal of the patent system is public
disclosure of technical advances, and the machine would not have been disclosed
to the public without Roberts’ efforts.
(D) Roberts may not obtain a patent on the machine because the vineyard owner was
not hiding the machine and therefore the machine was in public use more than a
year before Roberts’ application filing date.
(E) Statements (A), (B), (C) and (D) are each incorrect.
21. ANSWER: (E). Roberts is not entitled to a patent because he did not himself invent the
subject matter sought to be patented. 35 U.S.C. § 102(f). Therefore, statement (C) cannot be
correct. Statement (A) is incorrect because, although the machine was known by others, it was
not known by others in this country as required under 35 U.S.C. § 102(a). Similarly, statements
(B) and (D) are incorrect because, even if there was a sale or public use more than a year before
Roberts’ filing date, it was not “in this country” as required by 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).