PTAB.US: Decisions of PTAB Patent Trial and Appeal Board Updated Daily.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Nagle et al McCOLLUM 102(b) NATIONAL STARCH LLC
Method of grain production for heterozygous waxy sugary-2 maize
Nagle (US 5,954,883, Sep. 21, 1999)

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Grafting of nitroxyl terminated oligomers or polymers onto thermoplastic
Chin (Chin) 6,444,754 B1 Sep. 3, 2002

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Ferlitsch WHITEHEAD, JR. 103(a) KIRTON & MCCONKIE
Systems and methods for providing load balance rendering for direct printing
Lobiondo US 5,287,194 Feb. 15, 1994
White US 2002/0063887 A1 May 30, 2002

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Chuang et al HAIRSTON 102(b)/103(a) SMYRSKI LAW GROUP
Inspection system using small catadioptric objective
Shafer ‘518 US 5,717,518 Feb. 10, 1998
Chuang US 6,064,517 May 16, 2000
Shafer ‘722 US 2001/0040722 A1 Nov. 15, 2001
Liang US 2004/0051957 A1 Mar. 18, 2004

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Jaskot et al WALSH 103(a) KIRTON AND MCCONKIE
Lumbar support device
U.S. Patent No. 5,403,067, issued to Kumar Rajaratnam, Apr. 4, 1995.
U.S. Patent No. 6,840,125 B1, issued to Herbert M. Reynolds et al., Jan. 11, 2005.
U.S. Patent No. 4,685,739, issued to Elmar Deegener et al., Aug. 11, 1987.
U.S. Patent No. 4,981,325, issued to Dennis Zacharkow, Jan. 1, 1991.
U.S. Patent No. 5,178,163, issued to Edward H. Yewer, Jr., Jan. 12, 1993.

Ex Parte Clinesmith et al FISCHETTI 103(a) BROOKS KUSHMAN P.C./FGTL
Computer-implemented method and system for global purchasing
Shoda US 6,513,712 B2 Feb. 4, 2003
Walker US 6,805,290 B2 Oct. 19, 2004

Ex Parte Vargas et al TIERNEY 102(e) CARDICA, INC.
Method for sutureless connection of vessels
Swanson 6,113,612 Sep. 5, 2000
6,461,320 Oct. 8, 2002

Ex Parte Steinert et al PATE, III 103(a) LERNER GREENBERG STEMER LLP
Gatherer stitcher for brochures
Mebus US 4,260,145 Apr. 7, 1981
Dilo US
6,161,269 Dec. 19, 2000

In determining the differences between the prior art and the claims, the question under 35 U.S.C. § 103 is not whether the differences themselves would have been obvious, but whether the claimed invention as a whole would have been obvious. Stratoflex, Inc. v. Aeroquip Corp., 713 F.2d 1530, 1537 (Fed. Cir. 1983). There is no legally recognizable essential gist or heart of the invention. W.L. Gore & Assocs., Inc. v. Garlock, Inc., 721 F.2d 1540, 1548 (Fed. Cir. 1983). All words in a claim must be considered in judging the obviousness of the claimed subject matter. See In re Wilson, 424 F.2d 1382, 1385 (CCPA 1970). Obviousness may not be established using hindsight or in view of the teachings or suggestions of the inventor. W.L. Gore & Assocs., 721 F.2d at 1551, 1553.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Sekiya et al BARRETT 102(b)/103(a) SMITH, GAMBRELL & RUSSELL
Polishing tool and polishing method and apparatus using same
James (US 6,069,080, issued May 30, 2000)

Ex Parte Edwards MILLS 103(a) ULMER & BERNE, LLP
Retention system for a spare tire
Kennedy U.S. 4,676,415 June 30, 1987
Fukushima U.S. 6,474,715 B2 Nov. 5, 2002

BILSKI - 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b)

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Butz MARTIN 102(a)/102(e)/103(a) OBER / KALER c/o Royal W. Craig
Software system for quantitative measurement of accountability of social services
Douglas et al. (Douglas) US 6,039,688 Mar. 21, 2000

All of the claims are method claims. As explained in In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (en banc):

The machine-or-transformation test is a two-branched inquiry; an applicant may show that a process claim satisfies § 101 either by showing that his claim is tied to a particular machine, or by showing that his claim transforms an article. See [Gottschalk v.] Benson, 409 U.S. [63,] 70, 93 S. Ct. 253 [(1972)]. Certain considerations are applicable to analysis under either branch. First, as illustrated by Benson and discussed below, the use of a specific machine or transformation of an article must impose meaningful limits on the claim’s scope to impart patenteligibility. See Benson, 409 U.S. at 71-72, 93 S. Ct. 253. Second, the involvement of the machine or transformation in the claimed process must not merely be insignificant extra-solution activity. See [Parker v.] Flook, 437 U.S. [584,] 590, 98 S. Ct. 2522 [(1978)]. Bilski, 545 F.3d at 961-62.

Regarding “insignificant extra-solution activity,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has further explained:

Although the [Supreme] Court spoke of “postsolution” activity, we have recognized that the Court’s reasoning is equally applicable to any insignificant extra-solution activity regardless of where and when it appears in the claimed process. See In re Schrader, 22 F.3d 290, 294 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (holding a simple recordation step in the middle of the claimed process incapable of imparting patent-eligibility under § 101); In re Grams, 888 F.2d 835, 839-40 (Fed. Cir. 1989) (holding a pre-solution step of gathering data incapable of imparting patent eligibility under § 101). Id. at 957 n.14.

Furthermore, “[a] requirement simply that data inputs be gathered–without specifying how–is a meaningless limit on a claim to an algorithm because every algorithm inherently requires the gathering of data inputs.” Id. at 963 (citing Grams, 888 F.2d at 839-40). Also, “the inherent step of gathering data can also fairly be characterized as insignificant extra-solution activity.” Id. (citing Flook, 437 U.S. at 590).

Also, as noted in Bilski, the Diehr Court also held that “mere field-ofuse limitations are generally insufficient to render an otherwise ineligible process claim patent-eligible. See [Diamond v. Diehr,] 450 U.S. [175,] 191- 92, 101 S. Ct. 1048 [(1981)] (noting that ineligibility under § 101 ‘cannot be circumvented by attempting to limit the use of the formula to a particular technological environment’).” Bilski, 545 F.3d at 957.


1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Patel et al McCOLLUM 102(b)/103(a) WILLIAM J. McNICHOL, JR., REED SMITH LLP
Delivery system for topical medications
Smith (US 5,562,642, Oct. 8, 1996)
Sine (US
6,183,766 B1, Feb. 6, 2001)
Delambre (US
6,784,145 B2, Aug. 31, 2004)
Albacarys (US
6,338,855 B1, Jan. 15, 2002)

“[L]ong-felt need is analyzed as of the date of an articulated identified problem and evidence of efforts to solve that problem.” Texas Instruments, Inc. v. International Trade Comm., 988 F.2d 1165, 1178 (Fed. Cir. 1993).

“[I]t is well settled that unexpected results must be established by factual evidence. ‘Mere argument or conclusory statements in the specification does not suffice.’” In re Geisler, 116 F.3d 1465, 1470 (Fed. Cir. 1997) (quoting In re De Blauwe, 736 F.2d 699, 705 (Fed. Cir. 1984)).

“An assertion of what seems to follow from common experience is just attorney argument and not the kind of factual evidence that is required to rebut a prima facie case of obviousness.” In re Geisler, 116 F.3d at 1470.

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Heated pet bed
Reusche US 6,084,209 Jul. 4, 2000
Owen US
6,189,487 B1 Feb. 20, 2001
Curley US
2001/0045372 A1 Nov. 29, 2001
DiLiberto, Jr. US
2003/0183550 A1 Oct. 2, 2003

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