In SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Apotx Corp., the court incorrectly applied the statutory public use bar and held the clinical trials did not constitute an experimental use. This ruling set the bar too high. Applying a narrow construction of the law, the CAFC invalidated a claim in a clear case of experimental use. The decision not only misapplied the precedent defining an “inherent” feature of the invention, but also essentially eliminated the need for applying the policies that underlie and define the public use bar under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
Artem N. Sokolov, Abuse of Public Use? Exploring the SmithKline v. Apotex Decision and Its Effect on the Future of Public Use, 4 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 559 (2005)