Prior Art Obviousness

News & Analysis as of

Patentee’s Teaching Away Argument Fails to Overcome Substantial Evidence of Unpatentability

An obviousness challenge can be overcome by showing the prior art teaches away from the claimed invention. However, “teaching away” is a question of fact and thus subject to the substantial evidence standard in appeals from...more

Board Denies Kyle Bass Challenge Against Biogen’s Tecfidera® Patent In View of Unexpected Results

The PTAB issued a Final Written Decision finding that Biogen’s patent on treating Multiple Sclerosis (“MS”) with a certain dose amount was not obvious because the clinical efficacy exhibited by administering this dose amount...more

In re Ethicon: Connecting Seemingly Unrelated Dots May Support An Obviousness Conclusion

Composition claims are often rejected as obvious over the combinations of prior art referenced, that separately claim the ingredients of the claimed combination. Moreover, often the disclosure of the claimed ingredients is in...more

ANDA Update - March 2017 Volume 3, Number 1

Speculative Evidence of Irreparable Harm Sinks Bayer's Request for Permanent Injunction - Bayer Pharma AG, et al. v. Watson Laboratories, Inc. (D. Del. December 28, 2016) - Applying the eBay factors to Plaintiff...more

Design Patent Survives AIA Review

In a rare inter partes review (IPR) decision involving a challenge to a design patent, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final decision finding that the petitioner had not shown that a sole claim of a design...more

In an IPR, the Burden of Persuasion in an Obviousness Challenge Never Shifts to Patentee

On March 3, 2017, in a final written decision in IPR2015-01838, the PTAB rejected an obviousness challenge brought by DuPont against a patent owned by Furanix Technologies B. V. directed to methods for preparing the known...more

Federal Circuit Reiterates That Patent Prosecution Disclaimers Must Be “Clear and Unmistakable”

On March 3, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reaffirmed, in a precedential opinion, that prosecution disclaimers may only limit the scope of a claim where the disclaimer is “both clear and...more

Secondary Considerations of Non-Obviousness Cap on Obviousness Showing

In a rare case where secondary considerations of non-obviousness carried the day, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) concluded that even though the petitioner made a sufficient obviousness showing, the patent owner’s...more

Prior Art Preference for an Alternative is Not Enough to Teach Away

In Meiresonne v. Google, Inc., [2016-1755] (March 7, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB determination that claims 16, 17, 19 and 20 of U.S. Patent No. 8,156,096 on a system whereby a user can identify a supplier of...more

Where Party Joined Pending IPRs, Delaware Takes Broad View of § 315 Estoppel

In Parallel Networks Licensing, LLC v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 1:13-cv-02072, Dkt. No. 366 (D. Del. Feb. 22, 2017) (Slip Op.), the court held IBM was estopped from asserting obviousness under §103...more

Federal Circuit Review | February 2017

“Common Sense” Alone Is Not a Sufficient Motivation to Combine References - In In Re: Van Os, Appeal No. 2015-1975, the Federal Circuit held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s reliance on intuition or common sense...more

Not Intuitively Obvious: Federal Circuit Remands for Explicit Rational to Combine

In a rebuke of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) obviousness analysis, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a PTAB obviousness determination, explaining that the PTAB failed to...more

Federal Circuit Vacates and Remands to PTAB Because of Insufficient Analysis of Obviousness in IPR

In a unanimous opinion issued on February 14, 2017, a three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit vacated the Board’s obviousness determination in Apple’s inter partes review against PersonalWeb and remanded for further...more

General “Desire” to Improve Can Provide Sufficient Rationale to Combine References

Pointing to the “normal desire” of scientists to improve what is already known as a rationale to combine, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) inter partes...more

Hindsight Cannot be the Thread that Stitches the Prior Art Patches into the Claimed Invention

In Metalcraft of Mayville, Inc., v. The Toro Company, [2016-2433, 2016-2514] (February 16, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed a modified preliminary injunction against Toro’s continued infringement of U.S. Patent No....more

Sportbrain Sues Smartwatch Manufacturers, PTAB institutes IPR against Patent-in-Suit

Sportbrain Holdings LLC (“Sportbrain”) is a company that was previously engaged in the business of selling fitness trackers. Sportbrain recently sued eight smartwatch manufacturers for alleged infringement of its U.S. Patent...more

Just Because One Could Doesn’t Mean One Would

In Personal Web Technologies, LLC v. Apple, Inc., [2016-1174] (February 14, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s claim construction but vacated the Board’s obviousness determination because the Board did not...more

Federal Circuit Again Reverses PTAB Obviousness Determination

In what is becoming a familiar basis for reversal of PTAB decisions, the Federal Circuit yet again reversed the PTAB for its failure to adequately explain the basis for combining multiple prior art references in support of...more

IPR Denied after Board Finds Asserted PCT Publication Not Entitled to Priority Application’s Filing Date under Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. §...

The PTAB denied institution of an IPR based on patent owner’s challenge to the prior art status of a PCT publication that was asserted by the petitioner as pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102(e) prior art in Forty Seven, Inc. v....more

The Removal of Matter from the Provisional Application is Significant to the Interpretation of the Claims in the Non-Provisional...

In MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC. v. Ricoh Americas Corp., [2016-1243] (February 13, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB decision that claims 1-8 of U.S. Patent No. 8,488,173 were invalid on the grounds of...more

Federal Circuit Looks to Provisional Patent Application in Determining Claim Scope

Differences between a provisional patent application and a nonprovisional application claiming priority to the provisional application may inform claim construction, following the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in MPHJ...more

You’re So Vague: Federal Circuit Sends IPR Decision Back to PTAB for More Thorough Analysis

In a precedential decision, the Federal Circuit reaffirmed that the Patent Trial and Appeal’s Board (PTAB) is required to explicitly state motivations to combine prior-art references in claim rejections for obviousness. ...more

Court Rejects Theory Of Derivation Based On FDA Requirement

The Federal Circuit decision in Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Mylan Institutional LLC may be more interesting for what Mylan argued than for what the Federal Circuit decided. However, it could be an important decision...more

PTAB Finds Secondary Considerations Outweigh Evidence of Obviousness

In a final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found that claims 1-20 of U.S. Patent No. 8,550,271 (the “’271 patent”) were not unpatentable because “compelling evidence of secondary considerations of...more

PTAB Provides A Possible Roadmap For Patent Owners To Successfully Argue Secondary Considerations Of Nonobvious

For just the third time ever, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“PTAB” or the “Board”) recently sided with a Patent Owner in an inter partes review (“IPR”) to find that evidence of secondary considerations of...more

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