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7. Pearson (P) was hired to repair rail cars for the Metro North Commuter Railroad (D). The job was boring so P decided to spend part of his work days figuring out a better way to install brake tread units on trains. After only two business days, P had developed a device that worked well. Eager to get a job promotion, P proudly handed the device over to his surprised supervisor, and then returned to the work of repairing rail cars. D started using the unit that P had made and sent P’s plans to a company that made similar devices, ordering six more units. Thirteen months later, P got into a spat with his supervisor and quit. P soon filed a patent application and sued D for using his device without paying him money. Which of the following statements is true?(a)P will probably win(b)The patent is not valid because P did not file his application in time(c)P’s patent is valid despite the delay in filing because of the experimental use exception to public use
(d)If the patent is valid, D has a free, exclusive license to use the device (e)None of the above
Correct answer to #1: (b) Even if D’s carelessness is the “actual” cause of Marion’s injuries (“but for” cause), that carelessness must also be the “proximate” cause (Marion’s injuries were reasonably foreseeable/within the realm of risks created by D’s carelessness). Based on this foreseeability test, D can be held liable for Marion’s hip injury, but not for her burns (a plane crashing nearby and injuring Marion was an intervening event that was not reasonably foreseeable). Correct answer to #2: (b)The statute was enacted to prevent death due to fire, not to protect against economic loss caused by flooding. Tim’s “negligence per se” argument will fail because he has not suffered the type of injury that the statute is designed to address. To prove the second element of his negligence lawsuit, Tim must establish Larry’s unreasonableness (Larry failed to maintain the sprinkler system as a reasonably careful landlord would have). Correct answer to #3: (b)D did not have a legal duty to help Jack or otherwise act as a Good Samaritan. There is no indication of a special relationship between D and Jack that would give rise to such a duty. Correct answer to #4: (a)