Archive | Section 102 and 103 Invalidity

Patent Obviousness and Reasonable Expectation of Success

The Federal Circuit has (mostly) sustained the PTAB’s findings that claims of US Patent No. 7,433,483 are obvious over prior art, explaining that obviousness under 35 USC § 103 required, in essence, a showing that the proposed combination of references would result in an improvement, even if not the best possible improvement. Slot Speaker Technologies, […]

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PTAB Rejects Secondary Considerations for Patentability

Even though there was no dispute that a commercially successful product encompassed challenged patent claims, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board held that a patent owner failed to show secondary considerations of non-obviousness.  Arctic Cat, Inc. v. Polaris Industries, Inc., Case IPR2015-01781; Patent 8,827,028 B2 (PTAB Jan. 30 2017).  The Patent Owner, the PTAB […]

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CAFC Explains Obviousness Needs Prior Art Support

A recent Federal Circuit case explains that the Patent Office cannot simply assume, interpolate, or make up reasons why patent claims are obvious, e.g., why prior art references would have been combined.  In In re Schweickert, No. 2016-1266 (Fed. Cir. Jan 26, 2017) (opinion by Judge Chen, joined by Judges Newman and Stoll), the court […]

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PTAB Broadest Reasonable Interpretation: “in response to” Means “subsequent to”

In an ex parte appeal, the PTAB upheld the Examiner’s broadest reasonable interpretation of the patent claim language “in response to” as merely meaning “subsequent to.”  The decision is Ex parte Youngri Kim et al. (PTAB Jan 19, 2017). The subject patent application is drawn toward an ebook reader, and the claim language at issue […]

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A Federal Circuit Reminder on the Limits of Obviousness

The circumstances are few in which “common sense” can substitute for a claim limitation missing from the prior art in an obviousness rejection under 35 U.S.C. § 103, the Federal Circuit explained in Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple, Inc., No. 2015-2073 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 10, 2016) (opinion by Judge O’Malley, joined by Judges Linn and Moore).  […]

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Federal Circuit Revisits Secondary Considerations and Effect of Age of Cited References under Section 103

The Federal Circuit recently clarified the suitability of certain types of evidence in analyses of patentability under section 103. Nike, Inc. v. Adidas AG, No. 2014-1719 (Fed. Cir. February 11, 2016) (opinion by Judge Chen, joined by Judges Mayer and Stoll). One question was: must evidence of secondary considerations be considered by the United States […]

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When Is a Document on the Internet a “Printed Publication?”

Addressing an issue with which patent litigators and prosecutors alike regularly grapple, the Federal Circuit recently held that a graduate student’s report, provided on her personal web page, was not a “printed publication” under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) (pre-America Invents Act).  Blue Calypso, LLC. V. Groupon, Inc., Nos. 2015-1391, 2015-1393, 2015-1394 (Fed. Cir. March 1, […]

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Federal Circuit Provides a Lesson on How Not to Rebut an Obviousness Rejection

Has the Federal Circuit made it more difficult to rebut obviousness rejections by demonstrating that the cited references teach away from the claimed invention? One way to show that references teach away from a claimed invention is to show that a combination of references alleged by the patent examiner would render the prior art inoperable […]

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PTAB Reverses Rejection Because Patent Examiner Applied a “Broader Than Reasonable Interpretation”

Patent examiners often rely on claim interpretations that seem ridiculous to applicants. Here is a case showing that applicants should push back in such situations when claims are rejected under a “broadest reasonable interpretation.” Moreover, the case shows applicants that, contrary to examiners’ admonitions that the specification will not be read into the claims, clear […]

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