U.S. Patent Nos. 8,595,054 and 7,854,310 are directed to credit-card enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meters (pages 5-8). The ‘054 patent names King and Schwarz as inventors, and the ‘310 patent names King, not Schwarz, as an inventor (pages 5 and 7). The ‘054 patent anticipates the ‘310 patent as the ‘054 patent is by another and the applied portions of the ‘054 patent were invented by King and Schwarz, not King alone (pages 14-15). The electrical system of Figure 8 in the ‘054 patent anticipates parts of the ‘310 patent claims (pages 16-17). Schwarz invented much of the electrical system of the ‘054 patent, so the anticipating portion is the joint invention of King and Schwarz, a different inventive entity (pages 17-18). The ‘054 patent is prior art, and the ‘310 patent claims are invalid (page 18).
Hindsight: Inventorship may be controlled, in part, by what is claimed. An inventor may be added by having them contribute to conception, and an inventor may not be included by not claiming their contribution. Controlling inventorship may be, in some circumstances, used to avoid a companies own reference as prior art. Drafting claims of the later filed application to be novel over the earlier reference may also avoid, at least, anticipation.
U.S. Patent Nos. 8,595,054 and 7,854,310 are directed to credit-card enabled, solar-powered, single-space parking meters (pages 5-8). The claims recites a “cover panel” as the “upper structural component of the exterior casing” where the “cover panel [is] moveably attached to the intermediate panel set . . . [with] a plurality of buttons” (pages 20-21). The accused device has a keypad separate from the rest of the housing, so the cover panel is not provided (page 21). Making contact with the housing is not “attaching” (page 22). For equivalents, the ‘310 patent distinguishes the housing from the device so the equivalents cannot void the claim limitation requiring the keypad to be on the housing (page 23).
Hindsight: When claiming structure, it may be helpful to recite relative locations rather than specific connection. Considering and claiming broad relative to alternative arrangements may be helpful for both literal infringement and infringement under the doctrine or equivalents.