Case Title

Genetics Institute, Inc., et. al. v. Amgen Inc., 502 U.S. 856 (1991)

Document Type

Briefs and Court Filings

Publication Date



Although a patent appears to be a private right, that private right is only "secondary," as this Court has stated, to the public bargain of which it is but a part. The focus must always be whether the public has received full information about the nature of the invention so that future inventors may reuse and improve it. The decision below reflects a failure to recognize the patent's monopoly nature and as a result abandons the "best mode" rule forbidding the inventor form concealing the best way of replicating the invention. By turning the subjective test of "best mode" into and objective one, the decision below sacrifices the public interest, because it allows an inventor to conceal the invention's secrets so long as the inventor can convincingly argue that later experimenters might, through experimentation, luckily rediscover something close to them. Such a rule impermissibly abandons the public interest as well as established law and threatens to fatally deprive our patent system of its public value.