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Monday, August 31, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Patel PRATS 103(a) DICKSTEIN SHAPIRO LLP

Furthermore, “[e]ven when obviousness is based on a single prior art reference, there must be a showing of a suggestion or motivation to modify the teachings of that reference.” In re Kotzab, 217 F.3d 1365, 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2000).

Ex Parte Choo et al GRIMES 103(a) ROBINS & PASTERNAK

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Phillips et al ROBERTSON 102(b)/103(a) Vista IP Law Group LLP

Ex Parte Sengupta et al HANLON 103(a) HAMMER & ASSOCIATES, P.C.

Ex Parte Pavel et al PAK 103(a) MOSER IP LAW GROUP / APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.

Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (“[T]he specification ‘acts as a dictionary when it expressly defines terms used in the claims or when it defines terms by implication.”); Irdeto Access, Inc. v. Echostar Satellite Corp., 383 F.3d 1295, 1300 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (“Even when guidance is not provided in explicit definitional format, the specification may define claim terms by implication such that the meaning may be found in or ascertained by a reading of the patent documents.”). Indeed, our reviewing court stated in Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d at 1315:

The specification is always highly relevant to the claim construction analysis.
Usually, it is dispositive; it is the single best guide to the meaning of a
disputed term.

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Belknap et al MACDONALD 102(b)/103(a) SUGHRUE MION PLLC

Ex Parte Lindsay et al BARRY 103(A) MCANDREWS HELD & MALLOY, LTD

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Haapoja KRIVAK 103(a) Hollingsworth & Funk

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Sutardja et al KRIVAK 103(a) FISH & RICHARDSON P.C.

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Blattner et al BAHR 112(2)/102(b)/103(a) 112(1) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) Perman & Green, LLP

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Winkel et al McCOLLUM 102(b)/103(a) KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC.

Ex Parte Slezak O'NEILL 102(b)/103(a) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) Fellers, Snider, et al

Ex Parte Sundholm BAHR 102(b)/103(a) LADAS & PARRY LLP

BILSKI - AFFIRMED

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Schrader FISCHETTI 101/103(a) JAMES M. STOVER TERADATA CORPORATION

NUIJTEN - AFFIRMED

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Childress et al COURTENAY 101/102(a) IBM CORP (YA) C/O YEE & ASSOCIATES PC

In rejecting claims under 35 U.S.C. §101, a computer-readable medium (or media) comprising instructions is directed to statutory subject matter so long as the language of the claims is not supported in the specification with non-statutory embodiments (i.e., signals, transmission mediums and the like). See In re Nuijten, 500 F.3d 1346, 1357 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (A claim directed to computer instructions embodied in a signal is not statutory under 35 U.S.C. § 101).

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Khan et al WARREN 112(1)/102(b)/103(a) FENNEMORE, CRAIG, P.C.

Eiselstein v. Frank, 52 F.3d 1035, 1038-40 (Fed. Cir. 1995) ("The meaning of the word ‘about’ is dependent on the facts of a case, the nature of the invention, and the knowledge imparted by the totality of the . . . disclosure to those skilled in the art." (citation omitted)).

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Saccomanno et al HAIRSTON 103(a) HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Bonutti KERINS 103(a) FLEIT GIBBONS GUTMAN BONGINI & BIANCO, PL

Ex Parte Koo GRIMES 103(a) JOSEPH SWAN

Friday, August 28, 2009

REVERSED

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Kaiser et al COLAIANNI 103(a) NORRIS, MCLAUGHLIN & MARCUS, P.A.

Ex Parte Price et al KRATZ 103(a) NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security

Ex Parte Biran et al STEPHENS 102(e) IBM, BIGGERS & OHANIAN, LLP

"The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) must consider all claim limitations when determining patentability of an invention over the prior art." In re Lowry, 32 F.3d 1579, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (citing In re Gulack, 703 F.2d 1381, 1385 (Fed. Cir. 1983)). "Claims must be read in view of the specification, of which they are a part." Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 979 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc).

2600 Communications

Ex Parte Kandogan BOALICK 103(a) DANIEL E. JOHNSON IBM CORPORATION

Ex Parte Ritter et al WHITEHEAD, JR. 103(a) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components

Ex Parte Malone et al HASTINGS 103(a) FOLEY AND LARDNER LLP

Ex Parte Kim et al COLAIANNI 102(e)/103(a) TROP, PRUNER & HU, P.C.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Wilkins GREEN 103(a) WOMBLE, CARLYLE, SANDRIDGE & RICE, PLLC

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Arthur et al ROBERTSON 102(b)/103(a) HEWLITT-PACKARD COMPANY

2100 Computer Architecture and Software

Ex Parte Cabanes et al BARRETT 102(e) Tucker Ellis & West LLP

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security

Ex Parte Epstein et al COURTENAY 102(e)/103(a) PHILIPS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & STANDARDS

Ex Parte Collins et al BARRETT 102(e) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY




Thursday, August 27, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Cheikh et al PRATS 112(1) ARNOLD & PORTER LLP

Ex Parte Leneau LEBOVITZ 102(e) ICE MILLER LLP

“Appellant’s opinion on the ultimate legal issue is not evidence in the case . . . . [However,] some weight ought to be given to a persuasively supported statement of one skilled in the art on what was not obvious to him.” In re Lindell, 385 F.2d 453, 155 USPQ 521, 524 (CCPA 1967) (emphasis added).

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Ameen et al McKELVEY 103(a) ROHM AND HAAS ELECTRONIC MATERIALS

In evaluating the obviousness of a composition, it is appropriate to consider the method of preparation of the composition. In re Burt, 53 CCPA 929, 934, 356 F.2d 115, 119 (CCPA 1966).

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security
Ex Parte McIntyre et al BARRETT 103(a)/112(1) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) Milton S. Sales Eastman Kodak Company

See In re Hyatt, 708 F.2d 712, 714-15 (Fed. Cir. 1983) (a single means claim which covers every conceivable means for achieving the stated purpose is nonenabling for the scope of the claim because the specification disclosed at most only those means known to the inventor).

Ex Parte Marinet et al MANTIS MERCADOR 102(b) ALLEN, DYER, DOPPELT, MILBRATH & GILCHRIST P.A.

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Shizuka et al SAADAT 103(a) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P.

Ex Parte Okada et al EASTHOM 103(a) SUGHRUE MION, PLLC

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Pitts et al CRAWFORD 103(a) Theodore W. Olds CARLSON, GASKEY & OLDS, P.C.

Ex Parte McCallum CRAWFORD 102(a) MICHAEL CHAN NCR CORPORATION

BILSKI - AFFIRMED

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Callegari et al HAIRSTON 101/103(a) CRAIN, CATON & JAMES

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte So et al BARRY 102(b)/103(a) Christopher C. Winslade McAndrews, Held & Malloy, LTD.

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Richeson STAICOVICI 102(b) JOSEPH P. CURTIN

Ex Parte Hiraguchi MEDLEY 112(2)/102(b) SUGHRUE MION, PLLC

“[A]n indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ in patent parlance carries the meaning of ‘one or more’ in open-ended claims containing the transitional phrase ‘comprising.’” KCJ Corp. v. Kinetic Concepts, Inc., 223 F.3d 1351, 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

Ex Parte Putnam et al CRAWFORD 102(b)/103(a) Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP





Wednesday, August 26, 2009

REVERSED

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Konrad DELMENDO 103(a) DAVIDSON, DAVIDSON & KAPPEL, LLC

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Riley et al NAPPI 103(a)/112(1) IBM CORPORATION

Ex Parte Sakai et al NAGUMO 103(a) NIXON & PEABODY

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte LEPAGE et al HORNER 35 U.S.C. § 251 recapture HANLEY, FLIGHT & ZIMMERMAN, LLC

The Federal Circuit in Hester held that arguments made to overcome the prior art can alone evidence an admission sufficient to give rise to impermissible recapture. 142 F.3d at 1481. The court in Hester noted:

[T]he reissue statute is “based on fundamental principles of equity and fairness.” Weiler, 790 F.2d at 1579, 229 USPQ at 675. There is no unfairness in binding the patentee to deliberate assertions made in order to obtain allowance of the original patent claims over the prior art. Indeed, fairness to the public must also be considered. In this regard, as stated in Mentor, “the reissue statute cannot be construed in such a way that competitors, properly relying on prosecution history, become patent infringers when they do so.” 998 F.2d at 996, 27 USPQ2d at 1525. The recapture rule operates to prevent this from happening. See id. Furthermore, as recognized in Ball, the recapture rule is based on principles of equity and therefore embodies the notion of estoppel. 729 F.2d at 1439, 221 USPQ at 296.
Id. at 1481. The court in Hester analogized argument-based surrender in the reissue context to the rule of argument-based surrender in the prosecution history estoppel context. Id. (citing to Warner-Jenkinson v. Hilton Davis Chem. Co., 520 U.S. 17 (1997)). For such argument-based estoppel, the question is whether a “reasonable competitor” would have known that the subject matter was being relinquished. Hoganas AB v. Dresser, 9 F.3d 948 (Fed. Cir. 1993).

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Setter et al HORNER 102(b)/103(a) BLANK ROME LLP

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Sandstrom et al McKELVY 103(a) WOOD, HERRON & EVANS, LLP

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Nair et al MACDONALD 103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION Richard Lau

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Dorenbosch et al NAPPI 102(e)/103(a) MOTOROLA, INC

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Viola et al BAHR 102(b)/103(a) Tyco Healthcare Group LP

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

REVERSED

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Song et al COURTENAY 103(a) BIRCH STEWART KOLASCH & BIRCH

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Yamamoto et al NAPPI 103(a) HOGAN & HARTSON L.L.P.

"[I]nterpreting what is meant by a word in a claim ‘is not to be confused with adding an extraneous limitation appearing in the specification, which is improper.’" In re Cruciferous Sprout Litigation, 301 F.3d 1343, 1348, (emphasis in original) (citing Intervet Am., Inc. v. Kee-Vet Labs., Inc., 887 F.2d 1050, 1053 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Lonski et al LORIN 102(e)/103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) DAY PITNEY LLP

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Steiner et al SILVERBERG 102(b)/103(a) BROOKS KUSHMAN P.C./FGTL/DSB

Ex Parte Dooley SILVERBERG 102(b)/103(a) BIRCH STEWART KOLASCH & BIRCH

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Van Gompel et al MILLS 102(b)/103(a) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) BRINKS HOFER GILSON & LIONE

Monday, August 24, 2009

REVERSED

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Seaford et al MERCADER 102(b) WITHROW & TERRANOVA, P.L.L.C.

Ex Parte Cripe NAGUMO 103(a) CARLSON, GASKEY & OLDS, P.C.

Our reviewing court has found "a proposed modification inappropriate for an obviousness inquiry when the modification rendered the prior art reference inoperable for its intended purpose." In re Fritch, 972 F.2d 1260, 1265-66 n.12 (Fed. Cir. 1992), citing In re Gordon, 733 F.2d 900, 902 (Fed. Cir. 1984).

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Coleman et al PATE III 103(a) FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER LLP

When the reference does not disclose that the drawings are to scale, and is silent as to dimensions, arguments based on measurement of the drawing features are of little value. See Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc. v. Avia Group Int'l, 222 F.3d 951, 956 (Fed. Cir. 2000) (The disclosure gave no indication that the drawings were drawn to scale. "[I]t is well established that patent drawings do not define the precise proportions of the elements and may not be relied on to show particular sizes if the specification is completely silent on the issue.").

Ex Parte Schell et al PATE III 102(b) HARNESS, DICKEY & PIERCE, P.L.C.

Ex Parte Sato et al ADAMS 103(a) MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY LLP

BILSKI - 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b)

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Holtz et al HUGHES 103(a)/101 Sun Microsystems c/o Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP


The “machine-or-transformation test” governs patent-eligible subject matter for process claims under § 101. 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 patent-eligibility. 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.

In its Bilski opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit further explains “insignificant extra-solution activity:”

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.

In fact, one can perform each of these steps in one’s mind. Such mental steps are patentably excluded under § 101. See Benson, 409 U.S at 67; see also In re Comiskey, 554 F.3d 967, 979 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (“[M]ental processes – or processes of human thinking – standing alone are not patentable even if they have practical application.”) Thus, we do not find claim 1 recites any machine, let alone a particular machine, under this prong of the machine-ortransformation test.

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security
Ex Parte Drake et al SIU 102(b)/103(a) BROOKS KUSHMAN P.C. / SUN / STK

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Van Geest et al HAIRSTON 103(a) PHILIPS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & STANDARDS

Ex Parte Inuiya MARTIN 103(a) BIRCH STEWART KOLASCH & BIRCH

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Heinfried et al SCHEINER 112(2)/102(b)/103(a) WOODLING, KROST AND RUST

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Dresig et al PATE 112(1)/112(2)/103(a) STRIKER, STRIKER, & STENBY

Ex Parte Gass PATE III obviousness-type double patenting/102(b)/103(a) SD3, LLC

Friday, August 21, 2009

REVERSED
2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Tang et al DANG 103(a) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

Ex Parte Millard et al BARRY 102(e)/103(a) Driggs, Hogg, Daugherty & Del Zoppo Co., L.P.A.

"[T]he PTO gives claims their 'broadest reasonable interpretation.'" In re Bigio, 381 F.3d 1320, 1324 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (quoting In re Hyatt, 211 F.3d 1367, 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2000)). "The operative word is reasonable: the PTO has no such obligation regarding unreasonable interpretations." Genentech, Inc. v. Wellcome Found. Ltd., 29 F.3d 1555, 1565 n.22 (Fed. Cir. 1994).

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security

Ex Parte Lee et al LUCAS 103(a) TOWNSEND AND TOWNSEND AND CREW LLP

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Werner BAUMEISTER 102/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) THE ECLIPSE GROUP LLP

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Lian et al KRIVAK 103(a) Ryan, Mason & Lewis, LLP

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Konstant HORNER 102(b) NIRO, SCAVONE, HALLER & NIRO

Ex Parte Collar et al CRAWFORD 102(e) FLEIT, GIBBONS, GUTMAN, BONGINI & BIANCO P.L

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Han et al LEE 112(1)/103(a) MCKENNA LONG & ALDRIDGE LLP

Ex Parte Kishbaugh et al SONG 103(a) McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Ex Parte Bonutti BARRETT 102(e) PAUL D. BIANCO Fleit Gibbons Gutman Bongini & Bianco PL

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Dealy et al GAUDETTE 102(b)/103(a) CRAIG W. RODDY HALLBURTON ENERGY SERVICES

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Balzeau STAICOVICI 102(b)/103(a) LERNER, DAVID, LITTENBERG, KRUMHOLZ & MENTLIK

While a general-usage dictionary can be helpful in understanding claim language, a general dictionary “cannot overcome art-specific evidence of the meaning of a claim term.” Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1318, 1322 (Fed. Cir. 2005)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

REVERSED
2600 Communications
Ex Parte Chen et al BAUMEISTER 103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) THE DIRECTV GROUP, INC.

Any judgement on obviousness is in a sense necessarily a reconstruction based on
hindsight reasoning, but so long as it takes into account only knowledge which
was within the level of ordinary skill in the art at the time the claimed
invention was made and does not include knowledge gleaned only from applicant’s
disclosure, such a reconstruction is proper.
In re McLaughlin, 443 F.2d 1392, 1395 (CCPA 1971).

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Wenning et al PATE III 102/103 BSH HOME APPLIANCES CORPORATION

The prior art may anticipate a claimed invention, and thereby render it non-novel, either expressly or inherently. In re Cruciferous Sprout Litig., 301 F.3d 1343, 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2002). Express anticipation occurs when the prior art expressly discloses each limitation (i.e., each element) of a claim. Id. In addition, “[i]t is well settled that a prior art reference may anticipate when the claim limitations not expressly found in that reference are nonetheless inherent in it.” Id.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Han et al LEE 112(1)/103(a)/obviousness-type double patenting MCKENNA LONG & ALDRIDGE LLP

One shows “possession” of the invention by describing the invention using such description means as words, structures, figures, diagrams, formulas, etc., that fully set forth the claimed invention. Lockwood v. American Airlines, Inc., 107 F.3d 1565, 1572 (Fed. Circ. 1997). It is not necessary that the exact terms that appear in the claim also appear in the description. Id.

Ex Parte Van Deursen KERINS 103(a) PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN, LLP

Ex Parte Masumura et al HORNER 103(a) RADER FISHMAN & GRAUER PLLC

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

REVERSED

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Sato OWENS 102(e)/103(a) HAUPTMAN KANESAKA BERNER PATENT AGENTS, LLP

Ex Parte McDaniel et al NAGUMO 103(a) FLETCHER YODER (CHEVRON PHILLIPS)

Ex Parte McAllister et al OWENS 103(a) CRYOVAC, INC.

See In re Warner, 379 F.2d 1011, 1017 (CCPA 1967) ("A rejection based on section 103 clearly must rest on a factual basis, and these facts must be interpreted without hindsight reconstruction of the invention from the prior art").

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Allen et al RUGGIERO 102(e) Pamela R. Crocker EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Beckmann et al ADAMS 112(1)/103(a) MCGLEW & TUTTLE, PC

Ex Parte Hagiwara et al SILVERBERG 112(2)/102(b) SUGHRUE-265550

Ex Parte Wolf MILLS 103(a) QUARLES & BRADY LLP

NUIJTEN - AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Newport et al LUCAS 102(b)/101 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) IBM CORPORATION

See, e.g., In re Nuijten, 500 F.3d 1346, 1359 (Fed. Cir. 2007). Ex Parte Hartmann, No. 2006-1607, 2006 WL 2700810, at 4 (B.P.A.I. 2006) (non- precedential). ‘Signals’ are not statutory subject matter. See also "Interim Guidelines for Examination of Patent Applications for Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," 1300 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 142, Annex IV(c) (Nov. 22, 2005).

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Yamamoto HAIRSTON 102(e)/103(a) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P.

Ex Parte Ammon et al MARTIN 102(b)/103(a) VERIZON

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Blum LEE 112(2)/103(a) WENDEROTH, LIND & PONACK, L.L.P.

Ex Parte Allen et al MOHANTY 102(b)/103(a) HEWLETT –PACKARD COMPANY

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

REVERSED

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Rapp et al SMITH 103(a) FITZPATRICK, CELLA, HARPER & SCINTO

Ex Parte Andricacos et al HASTINGS 103(a) CONNOLLY, BOVE, LODGE & HUTZ LLP

Ex Parte Ikeuchi et al GARRIS 102(B)/103(a) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, LLP

Ex Parte Glorioso WARREN 102(b) VOLPE AND KOENIG, P.C.

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Fair LUCAS 102(b) DAVIS BUJOLD & DANIELS, P.L.L.C.

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Fischer et al HOFF 102(e)/103(a) BAKER BOTTS L.L.P.

The determination of obviousness must consider, inter alia, whether a person of ordinary skill in the art would have been motivated to combine the prior art to achieve the claimed invention and whether there would have been a reasonable expectation of success in doing so. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. Philip Morris Inc., 229 F.3d 1120, 1125 (Fed. Cir. 2000). Where the teachings of two or more prior art references conflict, the Examiner must weigh the power of each reference to suggest solutions to one of ordinary skill in the art, considering the degree to which one reference might accurately discredit another. In re Young, 927 F.2d 588, 591 (Fed. Cir. 1991). If the proposed modification would render the prior art invention being modified unsatisfactory for its intended purpose, then there is no suggestion or motivation to make the proposed modification. In re Gordon, 733 F.2d 900, 902 (Fed. Cir. 1984). Further, our reviewing court has held that "[a] reference may be said to teach away when a person of ordinary skill, upon reading the reference, would be discouraged from following the path set out in the reference, or would be led in a direction divergent from the path that was taken by the applicant." In re Gurley, 27 F.3d 551, 553 (Fed. Cir. 1994); Para-Ordnance Mfg., Inc. v. SGS Importers Int’l., Inc., 73 F.3d 1085, 1090 (Fed. Cir. 1995).

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components

Ex Parte Lin et al KRIVAK 102(b)/103(a) NXP, B.V.

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Crombez et al PATE III 103(a) BROOKS KUSHMAN P.C./FGTL

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Mathias et al GRIMES 102(e) COOK ALEX LTD.

BILSKI - AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Forman JEFFERY 101/103(a) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

In determining whether a claim as a whole is directed to an abstract idea, a key distinction has been drawn between (1) claims that seek to wholly pre-empt the use of a fundamental principle, and (2) claims that are merely limited to foreclosing others from using a particular application of that fundamental principle. See In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943, 957 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (en banc), cert. granted, 77 U.S.L.W. 3442, 3653, 3656 (U.S. June 1, 2009) (No. 08-964).

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Schlegel THOMAS 102(b)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY, PC

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security
Ex Parte Dettinger et al COURTENAY 102(e) IBM CORPORATION

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Lee et al GAUDETTE 102(b)/103(a) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

“An element of a claim described as a means for performing a function, if read literally, would encompass any means for performing the function. But section 112 ¶ 6 operates to cut back on the types of means which could literally satisfy the claim language.” Johnston v. IVAC Corp., 885 F.2d 1574, 1580 (Fed. Cir. 1989) (emphasis and citations omitted). As stated by our reviewing court in B. Braun Med., Inc., v. Abbott Labs., 124 F.3d 1419, 1424 (Fed. Cir. 1997):
[S]tructure disclosed in the specification is ‘corresponding’ structure only if
the specification or prosecution history clearly links or associates that
structure to the function recited in the claim. This duty to link or associate
structure to function is the quid pro quo for the convenience of employing §
112, ¶ 6.
In
Atmel Corp. v. Info. Storage Devices, Inc., 198 F.3d 1374, 1382 (Fed. Cir. 1999), our reviewing court further stated that the particularity requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, second paragraph, requires that the corresponding structure(s) of a means-plus-function limitation … [is] disclosed in the written description in such a manner that one skilled in the art will know and understand what structure corresponds to the means limitation. Otherwise, one does not know what the claim means. It has also been established that for means-plus-function claiming, all disclosed embodiments covered by the claim must be enabled. Sitrick v. Dreamworks, LLC., 516 F.3d 993 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Brown et al BAHR 103(A) GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C.

Ex Parte Kirmoto et al McKELVEY 103(a) DELAND LAW OFFICE

Monday, August 17, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte McDevitt et al SCHEINER 103(a) MICHAEL C. BARRETT FULBRIGHT & JAWORSKI L.L.P.

Where claimed subject matter has been rejected as obvious in
view of a combination of prior art references, a proper analysis
under § 103 requires, inter alia, consideration of two factors:
(1) whether the prior art would have suggested to those of
ordinary skill in the art that they should . . . carry out the
claimed process; and (2) whether the prior art would also
have revealed that in so . . . carrying out, those of ordinary skill
would have had a reasonable expectation of success. Both the
suggestion and the reasonable expectation of success must be
founded in the prior art, not in the applicant’s disclosure.

In re Vaeck, 947 F.2d 488, 493 (Fed. Cir. 1991) (citation omitted).

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Hattori et al KRATZ 103(a) SUGHRUE MION, PLLC

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security
Ex Parte Iyer SIU 102(e)/103(a) INTEL/BSTZ BLAKELY SOKOLOFF TAYLOR & ZAFMAN LLP

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Wilson HOFF 102(b)/102(e)/103(a) RENNER OTTO BOISSELLE & SKLAR, LLP

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Auth LEBOVITZ 102(b)/103(a) HOWARD & HOWARD

Ex Parte Shanley O'NEILL 102(e) JOHNSON & JOHNSON

Ex Parte Zhou GRIMES 102(b) CROMPTON, SEAGER & TUFTE, LLC

Ex Parte Vilsmeier et al SCHEINER 103(a) RENNER, OTTO, BOISSELLE & SKLAR, LLP

Ex Parte Carlson GRIMES 102(b)/103(a) CHRISTIE, PARKER & HALE, LLP

Ex Parte Bray WALSH 102(b)/103(a) CONVATEC INC.

Ex Parte Cook SCHEINER 103(a) NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC

Ex Parte Frankulin et al MILLS 103(a) TOWNSEND AND TOWNSEND AND CREW, LLP


AFFIRMED-IN-PART

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte de Josselin de Jong et al GRIMES 102(e)/103(a) BINGHAM MICHALE LLP

Ex Parte Bobo McCOLLUM 112(1)/102(e)/103(a) DEBRA D. CONDINO EDWARDS LIFESCIENCES LLC

Friday, August 14, 2009

REVERSED

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Jordens et al KIMLIN 112(1)/102(b)/103(a) BSH HOME APPLIANCES CORP.

Ex Parte Munnelly et al HANLON 103(a) EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY

Ex Parte Meyer et al KRATZ 102(b)/103(a) REINHART BOERNER VAN DEUREN S.C.

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Iwatani et al MANTIS MERCADER 102(e) SUGHRUE MION, PLL

"The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) must consider all claim limitations when determining patentability of an invention over the prior art." In re Lowry, 32 F.3d 1579, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1994).

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Reece et al WARREN, HANLON dissenting-in-part 102(b)/103(a) INTEL/BSTZ
BLAKELY SOKOLOFF TAYLOR & ZAFMAN LLP

Ex Parte Vreede et al KRIVAK 102(b) PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN, LLP

Ex Parte Namiwaka et al WARREN 102(b)/103(a) KATTEN MUCHIN ROSEMANN LLP

In re Swinehart, 439 F.2d 210, 212-13 (CCPA 1971) (there is nothing intrinsically wrong in defining something by what it does rather than by what it is).

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Mayes MOHANTY 103(a) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

Ex Parte Van Wulfften Palthe BARRETT 102(b)/103(a) SCHLUMBERGER RESERVOIR COMPLETIONS

Ex Parte Harris HORNER 103(a) PAUL M. DENK

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Sayama et al PRATS 112(1)/103(a) LOWE HAUPTMAN HAM & BERNER, LLP

While the Specification must enable the skilled artisan to practice the full scope of the claimed subject matter, "[i]t is well settled that patent applicants are not required to disclose every species encompassed by their claims, even in an unpredictable art." In re Vaeck, 947 F.2d 488, 496 (Fed. Cir. 1991). Moreover, a claim does not lack enablement merely because it encompasses inoperative embodiments. Atlas Powder Co. v. E.I. du Pont De Nemours & Co., 750 F.2d 1569, 1576 (Fed. Cir. 1984).

Thus, as our reviewing court has noted:

[T]here must be sufficient disclosure, either through illustrative examples or terminology, to teach those of ordinary skill how to make and how to use the invention as broadly as it is claimed. This means that the disclosure must adequately guide the art worker to determine, without undue experimentation, which species among all those encompassed by the claimed genus possess the disclosed utility.

Vaeck, 947 F.2d at 496 (footnote omitted).


AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Yamada et al HOFF 102(b) SUGHRUE-265550

Ex Parte Philbrook HAIRSTON 102(e)/103(a) WESTMAN CHAMPLIN & KELLY, P.A.

Ex Parte Jimarez et al HAIRSTON 102(b)/103(a) HOFFMAN WARNICK LLC

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Keller PATE, III 112(1)/103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) WHITHAM, CURTIS & CHRISTOFFERSON & COOK, P.C.

A patent applicant is free to recite features of an apparatus either structurally or functionally. See In re Swinehart, 439 F.2d 210, 212 (CCPA 1971) (“[T]here is nothing intrinsically wrong with [defining something by
what it does rather than what it is] in drafting patent claims.”). Yet, choosing to define an element functionally, i.e., by what it does, carries with it a risk. In re Schreiber, 128 F.3d 1473, 1478 (Fed. Cir. 1997). As stated in Swinehart:

where the Patent Office has reason to believe that a functional limitation
asserted to be critical for establishing novelty in the claimed subject matter
may, in fact, be an inherent characteristic of the prior art, it possesses the
authority to require the applicant to prove that the subject matter shown to be
in the prior art does not possess the characteristic relied on. 439 F.2d at 213.

While features of an apparatus may be recited either structurally or functionally, claims directed to an apparatus must be distinguished from the prior art in terms of structure rather than function. See, e.g., In re Schreiber, 128 F.3d at 1477-78.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs

Ex Parte Wong LEBOVITZ 103(a) FRANCIS EDWARD MARINO

Ex Parte Cumming et al PATE, III 103(a) FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC

Ex Parte Lattner et al LEBOVITZ 103(a) PHILIPS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & STANDARDS

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Nakai et al WALSH 102(b)/102(a) CERMAK & KENEALY LLP

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Fucsko et al GARRIS 102(b) DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP

In relying upon the theory of inherency, an Examiner must provide a basis in fact and/or technical reasoning to reasonably support the determination that the allegedly inherent characteristic necessarily flows from the teachings of the applied prior art. Ex parte Levy, 17 USPQ2d 1461, 1463 (BPAI 1990).

Ex Parte Spyrou et al GARRIS 103(a) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, P.C.

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Munetsugu et al BLAKENSHIP 103(a) GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C.

Ex Parte Cantwell et al HOMERE 102(e) HOFFMAN WARNICK LLC

Ex Parte Lovvik et al HOMERE 103(a) SUN MICROSYSTEMS C/O SONNENSCHEIN NATH & ROSENTHAL LLP

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security
Ex Parte Shevenell et al RUGGIERO 103(a) PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN, LLP

2600 Communications
Ex parte WOODS et al KRIVAK 103(a) Stephen C. Durant Morrison & Foerster, L.L.P.

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Preukschat et al STAICOVICI 102(b)/103(a) CROWELL & MORING LLP

Ex Parte Inuzuka et al BARRETT 102(a)/103(a) HAUPTMAN KANESAKA & BERNER

Ex Parte O'DOUGHERTY et al SILVERBERG 112(2)/103(a) INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY / TECHNOLOGY LAW

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Werner GREEN 103(a) ANSEL M. SCHWARTZ

Ex Parte Cantrell BAHR 102(b)/103(a) R REAMS GOODLOE, JR. & R. REAMS GOODLOE, P.S.

When a word of degree, such as the term “generally,” is used in a claim, we look to the specification to determine whether the specification provides some standard for measuring that degree. See Seattle Box Company, Inc. v. Industrial Crating & Packing, Inc., 731 F.2d 818, 826 (Fed. Cir. 1984).

Ex Parte Zsigmond SILVERBERG 102(b)/103(a) DENNIS F ARMIJO

Ex Parte Waldeck BAHR 102(b) PAUL AND PAUL

Ex Parte Werner GREEN 103(a) ANSEL M. SCHWARTZ

Ex Parte Gerder et al WALSH 103(a) MCGLEW & TUTTLE, PC

NUIJTEN - 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b)

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Chakravarthy et al MACDONALD 102(b)/103(a)/101 INTEL/BSTZ BLAKELY SOKOLOFF TAYLOR & ZAFMAN LLP

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Brunson GAUDETTE 112(2)/103(a) KEISLING PIEPER & SCOTT PLC

"The inherent teaching of a prior art reference, a question of fact, arises both in the context of anticipation and obviousness." In re Napier, 55 F.3d 610, 613 (Fed. Cir. 1995). Where the Examiner establishes a reasonable assertion of inherency and thereby evinces that a claimed process appears to be identical to a process disclosed by the prior art and/or that the products claimed by the applicant and disclosed in the prior art appear to be the same, the burden is properly shifted to the applicant to show that they are not. In re Spada, 911 F.2d 705, 708 (Fed. Cir. 1990); In re Best, 562 F.2d 1252, 1254-56 (CCPA 1977); cf., In re Robertson, 169 F.3d 743, 745 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (noting that inherency may not be established by probabilities or possibilities).

All evidence of nonobviousness, including data in the specification, must be considered when assessing patentability, In re Soni, 54 F.3d 746, 750 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (citing In re Margolis, 785 F.2d 1029, 1031 (Fed. Cir. 1986)).

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Sun et al MACDONALD 102(e)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(B) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

Ex Parte Wilensky et al C. THOMAS 102(b) HAMILTON & TERRILE, LLP

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Pearson et al NAGUMO 102(b)/103(a) REINHART BOERNER VAN DEUREN P.C.

Ex Parte Chauhan NAPPI 102(e)/103(a) FELLERS, SNIDER, BLANKENSHIP, BAILEY & TIPPENS, P.C.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Bloom et al MILLS 112(1)/112(2)/103(a) REISING, ETHINGTON, BARNES, KISSELLE, P.C.

"[T]he discovery of an optimum value of a variable in a known process is normally obvious." Exceptions to this rule include (1) the results of optimizing a variable were unexpectedly good and (2) the parameter optimized was not recognized in the prior art as one which would affect the results. In re Antonie, 559 F.2d 618, 620 (CCPA 1977).