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Friday, October 30, 2009

REVERSED

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security
Ex Parte Ishidoshiro EASTHOM 103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) WESTERMAN, HATTORI, DANIELS & ADRIAN, LLP

A prior art rejection of a claim which is so indefinite that “considerable speculation as to meaning of the terms employed and assumptions as to the scope of such claims” are needed should not be made. In re Steele, 305 F.2d 859, 862 (CCPA 1962).

Steele, In re, 305 F.2d 859, 134 USPQ 292 (CCPA 1959) . . . . . . . . . . . . .2143.03, 2173.06

Ex Parte Ting et al STEPHENS 103(a) GOODWIN PROCTER LLP

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Lee et al JEFFERY 103(a) THE FARRELL LAW FIRM, LLP

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review

Ex Parte Sameh FISCHETTI 103(a) Husch Blackwell Sanders, LLP

Ex Parte Harr HORNER 102(b) MARK P. STONE

Ex Parte Surwit et al FISCHETTI 103(a) MYERS BIGEL SIBLEY & SAJOVEC

Ex Parte Guzzoni STAICOVICI 103(a) MCGLEW & TUTTLE, PC

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Wittwer et al DELMENDO 103(a) BARNES & THORNBURG, LLP

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Janzen THOMAS 103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP

A rejection should not be based on "speculations and assumptions." In re Steele, 305 F.2d 859, 862 (CCPA 1962).

As such, we note that where a claim (and its terms) are so indefinite that “considerable speculation as to meaning of the terms employed and assumptions as to the scope of such claims” is needed, it would be imprudent for us to pass judgment on such a rejection (under § 103). See In re Steele, 305 F.2d at 862 (holding that the Examiner and the board were wrong in relying on what at best were speculative assumptions as to the meaning of the claims and basing a rejection under 35 U.S.C. § 103 thereon.).


Steele, In re, 305 F.2d 859, 134 USPQ 292 (CCPA 1959) . . . . . . . . . . . . .2143.03, 2173.06

Ex Parte Sasaki DIXON 112(1)/112(2)/103(a) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P.

Rejections under 35 U.S.C. § 103 should not be based upon "considerable speculation as to the meaning of the terms employed and assumptions as to the scope of the claims." In re Steele, 305 F.2d 859, 862 (CCPA 1962).

Steele, In re, 305 F.2d 859, 134 USPQ 292 (CCPA 1959) . . . . . . . . . . . . .2143.03, 2173.06

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security
Ex Parte Yaseen et al BLANKENSHIP 102(e)/103(a) GARDERE WYNNE SEWELL LLP

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Hanawa et al KRIVAK 103(a) APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Tash BAHR 102(b)/103(a) LYON & HARR, LLP

Thursday, October 29, 2009

REVERSED

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Jung et al KIMLIN 112(1)/112(2)/102(b)/103(a) ROBERT E. BUSHNELL & LAW FIRM

2100 Computer Architecture and Software

Ex Parte Musselman BARRY 103(a) IBM CORPORATION

"'A prima facie case of obviousness is established when the teachings from the prior art itself would appear to have suggested the claimed subject matter to a person of ordinary skill in the art.'" In re Bell, 991 F.2d 781, 783 (Fed. Cir. 1993)

Bell, In re, 991 F.2d 781, 26 USPQ2d1529 (Fed. Cir. 1993) . . . . .2144.08, 2144.09, 2163

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Mojsilovic et al HAIRSTON 102(b)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) HARRINGTON & SMITH, PC

The meaning of a claim term and the scope of the claim can not depend solely on the unrestrained, subjective opinion of the person practicing the invention. Datamize LLC v. Plumtree Software, Inc., 417 F.3d 1342, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2005).

“While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a claim term, to be definite, requires an objective anchor.” Datamize v. Plumtree Software, 417 F.3d at 1350. “Some objective standard must be provided in order to allow the public to determine the scope of the claimed invention.” Id.

Datamize LLC v. Plumtree Software, Inc., 417 F.3d 1342, 75 USPQ2d 1801 (Fed. Cir. 2005).. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2173.05(b)

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Frey et al SCHEINER 102(b)/103(a) ROYLANCE, ABRAMS, BERDO & GOODMAN, L.L.P.

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Palestrant BOALICK 103(a) MESCHKOW & GRESHAM, P.L.C.

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Marion et al HUGHES 102(e)/103(a) IBM Corp. (YA) c/o Yee & Associates PC

Ex Parte Chen DANG 102(b) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review

Ex Parte Crain O’NEILL 102(b)/103(a) SENNIGER POWERS LLP

Appellant’s argument focuses on a time that the claimed ground contact is set in position and disregards the actual structure of the ground contact when comparing the claimed ground contact to Thalhammer’s claw point. “It is well settled that the recitation of a new intended use for an old product does not make a claim to that old product patentable.” In re Schreiber, 128 F.3d 1473, 1477 (Fed. Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). Our reviewing court’s predecessor stated that “[t]he manner or method in which [a] machine is to be utilized is not germane to the issue of patentability of the machine itself.” In re Casey, 370 F.2d 576, 580 (CCPA 1967). And, “a statement of intended use… does not qualify or distinguish the structural apparatus claimed over the reference.” In re Sinex, 309 F.2d 488, 492 (CCPA 1962).

Schreiber, In re, 128 F.3d 1473, 44 USPQ2d 1429 (Fed. Cir. 1997) . . 2111.02, 2112, 2114


Casey, In re, 370 F.2d 576, 152 USPQ 235 (CCPA 1967) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2115

Sinex, In re, 309 F.2d 488, 135 USPQ 302 (CCPA 1962) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2111.02

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Laughon MILLS 112(1)/112(2) LICATA & TYRRELL P.C.

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering

Ex Parte Sato et al GAUDETTE 103(a) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P.

Ex Parte Jarvis OWENS 102(e)/103(a) DORITY & MANNING, P.A.

2100 Computer Architecture and Software

Ex Parte Gillespie et al DIXON 102(b)/103(a) INGRASSIA FISHER & LORENZ, P.C. (SYNA)

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Frank et al SAADAT 103(a) McANDREWS HELD & MALLOY, LTD

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review

Ex Parte Langenwalter BAHR 102(b)/103(a) FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER
LLP

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Kilkenny et al OWENS 102(b)/103(a) FAY SHARPE LLP

2100 Computer Architecture and Software

Ex Parte Goodwin et al DANG 103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN, LLP

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review

Ex Parte Burger et al McCARTHY 102(b) GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C.

Ex Parte Garfinkle et al HORNER 102(b)/103(a) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) BAY AREA TECHNOLGY LAW GROUP PC

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Wywialowski et al PATE, III 103(a) LISA M. SOLTIS ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC.

Appellants have chosen to employ language in the claims broader that the language used to describe the preferred embodiment and it would be improper to import limitations from the Specification into the claims. See Superguide Corp. v. DirecTV Enterprises, Inc., 358 F.3d 870, 875 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (“Though understanding the claim language may be aided by the explanations contained in the written description, it is important not to import into a claim limitations that are not a part of the claim. For example, a particular embodiment appearing in the written description may not be read into a claim when the claim language is broader than the embodiment.”).

Superguide Corp. v. Direct TV Enterprises, Inc., 358 F.3d 870, 69 USPQ2d 1865 (Fed. Cir. 2004) . . . . . . . 2111.01

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

REVERSED

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Campbell BLANKENSHIP 103(a) E. Eugene Thigpen Petroleum Geo-Services, Inc.

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Beroza O’NEILL 103(a) USDA, ARS, OTT

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs

Ex Parte Breuer et al O’NEILL 103(a) GREIGG & GREIGG P.L.L.C.

Ex Parte Sato et al SILVERBERG 102(e)/103(a) STAAS & HALSEY LLP

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Gladney HORNER 103(a) ROPES & GRAY LLP

Monday, October 26, 2009

REVERSED

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Becker et al DIXON 102(b) INTERNATIONAL CORP (BLF) c/o BIGGERS & OHANIAN, LLP

Ex Parte Mansell THOMAS 103(a) NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC

Appellants have the burden on appeal to the Board to demonstrate error in the Examiner’s position. See In re Kahn, 441 F.3d 977, 985-86 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (“On appeal to the Board, an applicant can overcome a rejection [under § 103] by showing insufficient evidence of prima facie obviousness or by rebutting the prima facie case with evidence of secondary indicia of nonobviousness.”) (quoting In re Rouffet, 149 F.3d 1350, 1355 (Fed. Cir. 1998)).

Kahn, In re, 441 F.3d 977, 78 USPQ2d 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2006) . . . . . . . . . . . .2143.01, 2144

Rouffet, In re, 149 F.3d 1350, 47 USPQ2d 1453 (Fed. Cir. 1998) . . . . . . . . . 1216.01

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Fukuzawa HOFF 103(a) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P.

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Pilz et al HOFF 103(a) LERNER GREENBERG STEMER LLP

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Mieney et al GREEN 112(1) DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

BILSKI - AFFIRMED

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Market et al NAPPI 101/102(b) SCHWEGMAN, LUNDBERG & WOESSNER, P.A.

If a claimed machine (or article of manufacture)2 involves a mathematical algorithm, then we must determine whether the scope of the claimed invention encompasses one of the judicially-created exceptions. This determination of claim scope requires that we make two inquiries:

(1) Is the claim limited to a tangible practical application, in which the mathematical algorithm is applied, that results in a real-world3 use 4 (e.g., "not a mere field-of-use label having no significance")?5

(2) Is the claim limited so as to not encompass substantially all practical applications of the mathematical algorithm6 either "in all fields" of use of the algorithm or even in "only one field?"7

2 Notwithstanding the court’s statement in Nuijten, 500 F.3d 1346, 1356 n.7 (Fed. Cir. 1007) ("We have never held that a manufacture is ever required to produce any result."), if an applicant chooses to claim the manufacture in terms of applying a mathematical algorithm (e.g., Appellants’ claim 19), then this two-part inquiry applies to determine if the claim is directed to eligible subject matter under § 101.
3
"Real-world" is not sufficient alone to establish patent-eligible subject matter absent tangibility. See Nuijten, 500 F.3d at 1356.
4 See Benson, 409 U.S. at 68 (noting that the claim at issue was "so abstract and sweeping as to cover both known and unknown uses . . . .").
5 See Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1544 (noting that the claim’s recitation of "a rasterizer for creating a smooth waveform is not a mere field-of-use label having no significance.").
6
Benson, 409 U.S. at 71-72.
7
See Bilski, 545 F.3d at 957 (citing Diehr, 450 U.S. at 192 n.14) ("[I]neligibility under § 101 ‘cannot be circumvented by attempting to limit the use of the formula to a particular technological environment.’").

If the machine (or article of manufacture) claim involves a mathematical algorithm and fails either prong of our two-part inquiry, then the claim is not directed to patent-eligible subject matter under § 101. Ex parte Gutta, No. 2008-4366, 2009 WL 2563524 (BPAI 2009) (per curiam) (expanded panel), at *1.

Nuitjen, In re, Docket No. 2006-1371 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 20, 2007) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2106

Alappat, In re, 33 F.3d 1526, 31 USPQ2d1545 (Fed. Cir. 1994). . . . . . . . . . . . 2106, 2106.02

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Ilsley et al GREEN 102(a)/102(e)/103(a)/obviousness-type double patenting AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC.

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Alfonsson et al KRATZ 103(a) NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Flick HAIRSTON 102(b) ALLEN, DYER, DOPPELT, MILBRATH & GILCHRIST P.A.




Friday, October 23, 2009

REVERSED

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex parte MCMANUS et al DIXON 102(b)/103(a) PITNEY BOWES INC.

"[A]bsence from the reference of any claimed element negates anticipation." Kloster Speedsteel AB v. Crucible, Inc., 793 F.2d 1565, 1571 (Fed. Cir. 1986).

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security

Ex Parte Kang HAIRSTON 103(a) ROBERT E. BUSHNELL & LAW FIRM

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex parte DEMARCKEN et al THOMAS 102(e)/obviousness-type double patenting FISH & RICHARDSON PC

In addition, we find that the claimed recitations “travel planning query” and “flight pricing queries” both contain non-functional descriptive material, which does nothing to change the utility of the underlying method. For example, the focus of the “query” does not affect any machine function, but represents mere data that is being sent. The content of non-functional descriptive material is not entitled to weight in the patentability analysis. See in re Lowry, 32 F.3d 1579, 1583 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (“Lowry does not claim merely the information content of a memory. . . . Nor does he seek to patent the content of information resident in a database.”). See also Ex parte Nehls, 88 USPQ2d 1883, 1887-90 (BPAI 2008) (precedential); Ex parte Curry, 84 USPQ2d 1272 (BPAI 2005) (informative), aff’d, No. 06-1003 (Fed. Cir. Jun. 12, 2006) (Rule 36); Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) § 2106.01 (Eighth ed., Rev. 7, Jul. 2008).


Lowry, In re, 32 F.3d 1579, 32 USPQ2d 1031 (Fed. Cir. 1994) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2106.01

2400 Networking, Mulitplexing, Cable, and Security

Ex Parte Dayal et al STEPHENS 102(b)/102(e)/103(a) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

REVERSED

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex parte ISHIMARU et al LEBOVITZ 103(a) WHITHAM, CURTIS & CHRISTOFFERSON & COOK, P.C.

Ex parte ROONEY et al WALSH 112(1) FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER LLP

“[D]rawings alone may be sufficient to provide the written description of the invention required by § 112, first paragraph.” Vas-Cath, Inc. v. Mahurkar, 935 F.2d 1555, 1565 (Fed. Cir. 1991).

Vas-Cath, Inc. v. Mahurkar, 935 F.2d 1555, 19 USPQ2d 1111 (Fed. Cir. 1991). . .1504.20, 2161, 2163, 2163.02, 2164, 2181

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex parte BARNS et al BAUMEISTER 102(e)/103(a) Dissenting-in-Part EASTHOM TROP, PRUNER & HU, P.C.

“Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.” SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Apotex Corp., 439 F.3d 1312, 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2006).

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex parte GOULETTE et al MEDLEY 102(b)/103(a) DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Ex parte MCCARTHY LANE 102(b)/102(e)/103(a) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) Debra D. Condino Edwards Lifesciences LLC

Although Bolling does not anticipate the ring recited in Appellant’s claims 6 and 10, it renders it obvious because the difference between the claimed dimensions of “between about 3.3:4 . . . to 4:4 . . .” and the dimension of “about 3:4” taught in Bolling is minor, and Appellant’s specification does not provide sufficient evidence that the claimed dimension is critical. See Haynes Int’l, Inc. v. Jessop Steel Co., 8 F.3d 1573, 1577, n.3 (Fed. Cir. 1993) (“when the difference between the claimed invention and the prior art is the range or value of a particular variable, then a prima facie rejection is properly established when the difference in range or value is minor.”); see also In re Geisler, 116 F.3d 1465, 1469-70 (Fed. Cir. 1997) (“When an applicant seeks to overcome a prima facie case of obviousness by showing improved performance in a range that is within or overlaps with a range disclosed in the prior art, the applicant must ‘show that the [claimed] range is critical, generally by showing that the claimed range achieves unexpected results relative to the prior art range.’”) (quoting In re Woodruff, 919 F.2d 1575 (Fed. Cir. 1990)). Accordingly, we enter a new grounds of rejection under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) over Bolling for claims 6 and 8-20.

Geisler, In re, 116 F.3d 1465, 43 USPQ2d 1362 (Fed. Cir. 1997) . . . . . . . . . . . .2144.05, 2145

Woodruff, In re, 919 F.2d 1575, 16 USPQ2d 1934 (Fed. Cir. 1990) . . . . . . . 2144.05

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

REVERSED

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Busson et al ROBERTSON 103(a) GE HEALTHCARE BIO-SCIENCES CORP.

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Walacavage et al DIXON 102(b)/103(a) BLISS MCGLYNN P.C.

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Kim et al HAIRSTON 103(a) STAAS & HALSEY, L.L.P.

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Hemphill et al BOALICK 102(b) Potomac Patent Group PLLC

Functional language in a patent claim is “an attempt . . . to define something . . . by what it does rather than by what it is.” In re Swinehart, 439 F.2d 210, 212, (CCPA 1971). “[T]here is nothing intrinsically wrong with the use of such a technique in drafting patent claims.” Id.

Swinehart, In re, 439 F.2d 210, 169 USPQ 226 (CCPA 1971) . . . . . .2114, 2173.01, 2173.05(g), 2183

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Lind et al GRIMES 112(1)/102(b) THE CULBERTSON GROUP, P.C.

The Examiner “‘bears the initial burden . . . of presenting a prima facie case of unpatentability.’ Insofar as the written description requirement is concerned, that burden is discharged by ‘presenting evidence or reasons why persons skilled in the art would not recognize in the disclosure a description of the invention defined by the claims.’” In re Alton, 76 F.3d 1168, 1175 (Fed. Cir. 1996), quoting In re Oetiker, 977 F.2d 1443, 1445 “If . . . the specification contains a description of the claimed invention, albeit not in ipsis verbis (in the identical words), then the examiner . . . , in order to meet the burden of proof, must provide reasons why one of ordinary skill in the art would not consider the description sufficient.” Alton, 76 F.3d at 1175.

Alton, In re, 76 F.3d 1168, 37 USPQ2d1578 (Fed. Cir. 1996) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2145, 2163,2163.06, 2164.05

Oetiker, In re, 977 F.2d 1443, 24 USPQ2d 1443 (Fed. Cir. 1992) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .707.07(f), 716.01(d), 1504.01(a), 2106, 2107.02, 2142, 2145, 2164.07

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Kruik et al PAK 103(a) K & L GATES LLP

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Helbing GRIMES 102(b) RYAN KROMHOLZ & MANION, S.C.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Aronhime et al GRIMES 112(2)/102(b)/103(a) KENYON & KENYON LLP

“[T]he statute provides for what may be said to be a presumption of novelty in the language of section 102 ‘a person shall be entitled to a patent unless ---’ (Emphasis added). What this means, in an ex parte proceeding to obtain a patent, is that the Patent Office has the initial burden of coming forward with some sort of evidence tending to disprove novelty.” In re Wilder, 429 F.2d 447, 450 (CCPA 1970).

2100 Computer Architecture and Software

Ex Parte D'ALO et al HOMERE 102(b)/103(a) DILLON & YUDELL LLP

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Lee et al BOALICK 112(1)/102(e)/103(a) WILLIAMS, MORGAN & AMERSON

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Heschel et al PATE, III 102(b) FISH & RICHARDSON P.C.

Determining if the steps of a method claim that do not otherwise recite an order, must nonetheless be performed in the order in which they are written involves a two-part test. First, we look to the claim language to determine if, as a matter of logic or grammar, they must be performed in the order written. If not, we next look to the rest of the specification to determine whether it “directly or implicitly requires such a narrow construction.” If not, the sequence in which such steps are written is not a requirement. Altiris, Inc. v. Symantec Corp. 318 F.3d 1363, 1369-1370 (Fed. Cir. 2003); See also Loral Fairchild Corp. v. Sony Electronics Corp., 181 F.3d 1313, 1321 (Fed.Cir.1999) (holding that the claim language itself indicated that the steps had to be performed in their written order because the second step required the alignment of a second structure with a first structure formed by the prior step.); See also Mantech Envtl. Corp. v. Hudson Envtl. Servs., Inc. , 152 F.3d 1368, 1375-76, (Fed.Cir.1998) (holding that the steps of a method claim had to be performed in their written order because each subsequent step referenced something logically indicating the prior step had been performed).

Altiris Inc. v. Symantec Corp., 318 F.3d 1363, 65 USPQ2d 1865 (Fed. Cir. 2003). . . 2111.01

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Schewe et al ROBERTSON 102(b) VIDAS, ARRETT & STEINKRAUS, P.A.

2100 Computer Architecture and Software

Ex Parte Lowrey JEFFERY 103(a) TROP, PRUNER & HU, P.C.

"‘Functional’ terminology may render a claim quite broad. By its own literal terms a claim employing such language covers any and all embodiments which perform the recited function." In re Swinehart, 439 F.2d 210, 213 (CCPA 1971).

Representative claim 11 recites a phase change memory. The remainder of the claim is a functional limitation that the memory is directly accessible by a CPU and, thus, only requires that the memory is inherently capable of being directly accessible by the CPU. See Swinehart, 439 F.2d at 213. Thus, for the same reasons discussed above in connection with claim 1, we find no error in the Examiner’s rejection of claim 11 and claims 12-19 which fall with claim 11.

Swinehart, In re, 439 F.2d 210, 169 USPQ 226 (CCPA 1971) . . . . . .2114, 2173.01, 2173.05(g), 2183

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review

Ex Parte Hillman TIERNEY 103(a) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) CAREY, RODRIGUEZ, GREENBERG & PAUL LLP

Monday, October 19, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Farrar et al SCHEINER 102(b)/103(a) FELDMANGALE, P.A.

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering

Ex Parte Majumdar et al KRATZ 103(a) Paul A. Leipold, Eastman Kodak Company


If the Examiner’s proposed modification runs counter to the intended purpose of the prior art, the Examiner typically has failed to make a prima facie case of obviousness. See In re Gordon, 733 F.2d 900, 902 (Fed. Cir. 1984).

Gordon, In re, 733 F.2d 900, 221 USPQ 1125 (Fed. Cir. 1984) . . . . . . . . . .2143.01, 2144.08


2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Conley et al
HUGHES 103(a) Goodwin Procter LLP

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Kelley WALSH 102(e)/103(a) CROMPTON, SEAGER & TUFTE, LLC

“To serve as an anticipation when the reference is silent about the asserted inherent characteristic, such gap in the reference may be filled with recourse to extrinsic evidence. Such evidence must make clear that the missing descriptive matter is necessarily present in the thing described in the reference, and that it would be so recognized by persons of ordinary skill.” Continental Can Co. v. Monsanto Co., 948 F.2d 1264, 1268 (Fed. Cir. 1991).


Continental Can Co. v. Monsanto Co., 948 F.2d 1264, 20 USPQ2d 1746 (Fed. Cir. 1991).. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2131.01

Ex Parte Lind et al GRIMES 103(a) THE CULBERTSON GROUP, P.C.

“We must still be careful not to allow hindsight reconstruction of references to reach the claimed invention without any explanation as to how or why the references would be combined to produce the claimed invention.” Innogenetics, N.V. v. Abbott Labs., 512 F.3d 1363, 1374 n.3 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Wei et al LEBOVITZ 102(b)/103(a) DORITY & MANNING, P.A.

Friday, October 16, 2009

REVERSED

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Kent et al NAPPI 103(a) AT&T

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Sirvio et al STAICOVICI 103(a) CHERNOFF, VILHAUER, MCCLUNG & STENZEL, LLP

Ex Parte Flick BAHR 102(b)/103(a) ALLEN, DYER, DOPPELT, MILBRATH & GILCHRIST P.A.

It is well established that 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 1473, 1477-78 (Fed. Cir. 1997). In order to satisfy the functional limitations in an apparatus claim, however, the prior art apparatus must be capable of performing the claimed function. Id. at 1478.


Schreiber, In re, 128 F.3d 1473, 44 USPQ2d 1429 (Fed. Cir. 1997) . . 2111.02, 2112, 2114

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte O'Brien et al STAICOVICI 102(b)/103(a) CROMPTON, SEAGER & TUFTE, LLC

“Inherent anticipation requires that the missing descriptive material is ‘necessarily present,’ not merely probably or possibly present, in the prior art.” Trintec Indus., Inc. v. Top-U.S.A. Corp., 295 F.3d 1292, 1295 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (quoting In re Robertson, 169 F.3d 743, 745 (Fed. Cir. 1999)). ... As such, we agree with Appellants that the sheath 17 of Barath is not necessarily capable of radial compression, as the Examiner suggests. See Reply Br. 5.


Robertson, In re, 169 F.3d 743, 49 USPQ2d 1949 (Fed. Cir. 1999) . . . . 2112, 2114, 2163, 2163.07(a)

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
Ex Parte Lee et al NAPPI 102(e) ROBERT E. BUSHNELL & LAW FIRM

Thursday, October 15, 2009

REVERSED

2100 Computer Architecture and Software
Ex Parte Goodwin et al SIU 103(a) PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN, LLP

Ex Parte Abajian et al COURTENAY 102(e) PERKINS COIE LLP

We conclude that the Examiner’s overly broad interpretation is unreasonable because it ignores specific positively-recited claim limitations. Cf. In re Van Geuns, 988 F.2d 1181, 1184 (Fed. Cir. 1993) (“In the patentability context, claims are to be given their broadest reasonable interpretations . . . .”) (citations omitted, emphasis added).

Van Geuns, In re, 988 F.2d 1181, 26 USPQ2d 1057 (Fed. Cir. 1993) . . . . . .707.07(f) , 2145

The Examiner appears to be focusing on the “enhancing” element in isolation and is ignoring the context of the claim as a whole. However, claim terms are not to be interpreted in a vacuum, devoid of the context of the claim as a whole. See Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc. v. Converse Inc., 183 F.3d 1369, 1374 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (“proper claim construction ... demands interpretation of the entire claim in context, not a single element in isolation.”); ACTV, Inc. v. Walt Disney Co., 346 F.3d 1082, 1088 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (“While certain terms may be at the center of the claim construction debate, the context of the surrounding words of the claim also must be considered . . .”). This discussion buttresses our earlier finding that the Examiner’s overly broad interpretation of the claimed “enhancing” element is unreasonable because it ignores specific positively-recited claim limitations.

Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc. v. Avia Group Int’l, 222 F.3d 951, 55 USPQ2d 1487 (Fed. Cir. 2000) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2125

ACTV, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co., 346 F.3d 1082, 68 USPQ2d 1516 (Fed. Cir. 2003). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2111.01

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte LaSalle BAHR 103(a)/112(2) 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) GORDON & JACOBSON, P.C.

Ex Parte Osborne et al STAICOVICI 102(b) BRINKS HOFER GILSON & LIONE

Ex Parte Gochanour SILVERBERG 102(b)/103(a) GIFFORD, KRASS, SPRINKLE, ANDERSON & CITKOWSKI, P.C.

Ex Parte Pham et al FREDMAN 102(e)/112(1) BAUSCH & LOMB INCORPORATED

This is a situation where the word "parallel" is used ipsis verbis in the Specification (FF 8), even though ipsis verbis support is not required. Fujikawa v. Wattanasin, 93 F.3d 1559, 1570 (Fed. Cir. 1996). We think Appellant has the better argument here, since any person of ordinary skill would recognize that one embodiment of "substantially parallel" is "parallel" itself.


Fujikawa v. Wattanasin, 93 F.3d 1559, 39 USPQ2d 1895 (Fed. Cir. 1996) . . . . 2163, 2163.05

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Vassiliou et al EASTHOM 102(e)/103(a) McANDREWS HELD & MALLOY, LTD

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review

Ex Parte Bono HORNER Dissenting McCARTHY 112(2)/103(a) PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Pfenniger et al BARRETT 103(a) OLIFF & BERRIDGE, PLC

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

REVERSED

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Edelman et al ADAMS 103(a)FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER, L.L.P.

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Hamamoto et al GARRIS 103(a) BUCKLEY, MASCHOFF & TALWALKAR LLC

2100 Computer Architecture and Software

Ex Parte Goodwin et al SIU 102(b) PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN, LLP

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review

Ex Parte Richard SILVERBERG 102(e) DUANE MORRIS LLP - HOUSTON

Further, Chatterji’s drawings do not show any filter media 74 being forced to flow along the well bore 20. See Continental Can Co. v. Monsanto Co., 948 F.2d 1264, 1268 (Fed. Cir. 1991) (When a reference is silent about an asserted inherent characteristic, it must be clear that the missing descriptive matter is necessarily present in the thing described in the reference, and that it would be so recognized by persons of ordinary skill.)

Continental Can Co. v. Monsanto Co., 948 F.2d 1264, 20 USPQ2d 1746 (Fed. Cir. 1991).. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2131.01

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Marriott SILVERBERG 102(b)/103(a) CHRISTOPHER DEVRIES GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION

BILSKI - AFFIRMED

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Hemmat HORNER 101/112(2)/103(a) SPRINT

The claim does not involve the use of any machine or apparatus. Further, the claim does not involve the transformation of any physical objects or substances. As the court in Bilski noted, “[p]urported transformations or manipulations simply of public or private legal obligations or relationships, business risks, or other such abstractions cannot meet the test because they are not physical objects or substances, and they are not representative of physical objects or substances.” 545 F.3d at 963.

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Albert et al BOALICK 103(a) DAVID J. COLE E INK CORPORATION

Friday, October 9, 2009

REVERSED

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Jolitz BAHR 103(a) HUSCH BLACKWELL SANDERS LLP

Thursday, October 8, 2009

REVERSED

3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
Ex Parte Hirafuji et al HORNER 112(1)/103(a) CURTIS L. HARRINGTON & ASSOCIATES

“The test of obviousness vel non is statutory. It requires that one compare the claim’s ‘subject matter as a whole’ with the prior art ‘to which said subject matter pertains.’” In re Ochiai, 71 F.3d 1565, 1569 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (quoting 35 U.S.C. § 103). Section 103 requires “a searching comparison of the claimed invention – including all its limitations – with the teaching of the prior art.” Id. at 1572.


Ochiai, In re, 71 F.3d 1565, 37 USPQ2d 1127 (Fed. Cir. 1995) . . . . . . . . 706.02(n), 2116.01, 2144.08

3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Designs
Ex Parte Varanasi HORNER 102(b)/103(a) CARSTENS & CAHOON, LLP

AFFIRMED-IN-PART

1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Boulis ADAMS 103(a) KENYON & KENYON LLP

Argument by counsel cannot take the place of evidence. In re Cole, 326 F.2d 769, 773 (CCPA 1964); In re Geisler, 116 F.3d 1465, 1471 (Fed. Cir. 1997).


Cole, In re, 326 F.2d 769, 140 USPQ 230 (CCPA 1964). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2164.06(c)

Geisler, In re, 116 F.3d 1465, 43 USPQ2d 1362 (Fed. Cir. 1997) . . . . . . . . . . . .2144.05, 2145

2600 Communications
Ex Parte Ip et al KRIVAK 103(a) HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY