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Thursday, February 11, 2010


1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
Ex Parte Matsubara et al SCHEINER 102(b)/103(a)/112(1)/112(2) OBLON, SPIVAK, MCCLELLAND MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P.

“It is a general rule that merely discovering and claiming a new benefit of an old process cannot render the process again patentable.”
In re Woodruff, 919 F.2d 1575, 1578 (Fed. Cir. 1990). When “a claimed new benefit or characteristic of an invention otherwise in the prior art” is an inherent property of the old invention, “the new realization alone does not render the old invention patentable.” Perricone v. Medicis Pharm. Corp. , 432 F.3d 1368, 1377 (Fed. Cir. 2005). “[A] limitation or the entire invention is inherent and in the public domain if it is the ‘natural result flowing from’ the explicit disclosure of the prior art.” Id. (citations omitted).

As summarized in Perricone, Id. at 1375-76:

A single prior art reference that discloses, either expressly or inherently, each limitation of a claim invalidates that claim by anticipation.
Minn. Mining & Mfg. Co. v. Johnson & Johnson Orthopaedics, Inc. , 976 F.2d 1559, 1565 (Fed. Cir. 1992). Thus, a prior art reference without express reference to a claim limitation may nonetheless anticipate by inherency. See In re Cruciferous Sprout Litig. , 301 F.3d 1343, 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2002). “Under the principles of inherency, if the prior art necessarily functions in accordance with, or includes, the claims limitations, it anticipates.” Id. (quoting MEHL/Biophile Int’l Corp. v. Milgraum, 192 F.3d 1362, 1365 (Fed. Cir. 1999). Moreover, “[I]nherency is not necessarily coterminous with knowledge of those of ordinary skill in the art. Artisans of ordinary skill may not recognize the inherent characteristics or functioning of the prior art.” Id. ; see also Schering Corp. v. Geneva Pharms. , 339 F.3d 1373, 1377 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (rejecting the contention that inherent anticipation requires recognition in the prior art) (citing In re Cruciferous Sprout Litig., 301 F.3d at 1351; MEHL/Biophile, 192 F.3d at 1366).

“Thus, when considering a prior art method, the anticipation doctrine examines the natural and inherent results in that method without regard to the full recognition of those benefits or characteristics within the art field at the time of the prior art disclosure.” Id. at 1378.

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

Cruciferous Sprout Litig., In re, 301 F.3d 1343, 64 USPQ2d 1202 (Fed. Cir. 2002) . . 2111.02

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