Common sense held sufficient to invalidate claims as obvious on summary judgment

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If anyone needed further proof that patents are more easily held obvious after KSR, look no further. The Federal Circuit held that a patent directed to a method of email marketing with improved efficiency was obvious based on the "common sense" of one in the art.

The claimed method had four steps, the fourth of which was (as described by the court) repeating the first three steps until a minimum threshold of emails were successfully received. It was undisputed that the first three steps were known in the art and that the final step was not in the prior art. The district court held the addition of the final step "would be obvious to virtually anyone."

The Federal Circuit agreed. After citing the relevant passages from KSR regarding common sense, the court observed:

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