GOPRO, INC. v. CONTOUR IP HOLDING LLC, decided July 27, 2018, Prior Art Holding

U.S. Patent Nos. 8,890,954 and 8,896,694 are directed to action sport video cameras for remote control and viewing.   The patents share a same specification and claim priority to a provisional application filed September 13, 2010, making the one year critical date September 13, 2009 (page 3).   The GoPro 2009 catalog was displayed and distributed at a trade show July 23-27, 2009 (before the critical date) (page 3).  The trade show was open to dealers, but not the public (page 4).  There were thousands of attendees and over 150 vendors present at the show, and people of ordinary skill were not precluded from attending (pages 8-10).  The test is accessibility by a person of ordinary skill (pages 10-11).  Excluding the public is not excluding people of ordinary skill (pages 10-11), so the GoPro 2009 catalog is prior art. 

Hindsight: It is hard to know of some prior art, so it may help to file early.   When exploring whether to even file, consider all disclosures of an idea, not just “public” in the sense of all people.  A restricted forum may still provide sufficient publication.