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White Consolidated Industries, Inc. v. Vega Servo-Control, Inc., 214 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 796 (S.D. Mich. 1982), aff'd, 713 F.2d 788, 218 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 961 (Fed. Cir. 1983) (full-text).
Factual Background Edit
The plaintiff sued the defendant for patent infringement. The patent for a machine tool identified a computer program in the patent specification, but the program was not disclosed in the specification, but was maintained as a proprietary trade secret.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
The lower court held that, absent disclosure of the program, the specification would require a great deal of experimentation by a skilled programmer to develop a workable program to make the invention operational. The proprietary nature of the program was found irrelevant, given that it was the only way of disclosing the best mode of practicing the invention.