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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday August 11, 2010


1600 Biotechnology and Organic ChemistryEx Parte Chen et al 10/856,185 McCOLLUM 112(1)/112(2)/103(a) STANFORD UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY LICENSING BOZICEVIC, FIELD & FRANCIS LLP Examiner Name: WESSENDORF, TERESA D

1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ex Parte Dey 11/199,785 HASTINGS 103(a) ALSTON & BIRD LLP Examiner Name: O HERN, BRENT T


3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Design
Ex Parte Belau et al 10/449,987 SCHAFER 102(b)/103(a) KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. Examiner Name: KIDWELL, MICHELE M

While Applicants’ written description may describe a preferred embodiment where an attachment panel is disclosed as a separate component, claims are not ordinarily construed to be limited to the disclosed preferred embodiments. Laitram Corp. v. Cambridge Wire Cloth Co., 863 F.2d 855, 865 (Fed. Cir. 1988) (“References to a preferred embodiment, such as those often present in a specification, are not claim limitations.”) Rather, claims are to be given their broadest reasonable construction consistent with the specification. In re Yamamoto, 740 F.2d 1569, 1571 (Fed. Cir. 1984). “[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. DirecTV Enterprises, Inc., 358 F.3d 870, 875 (Fed. Cir. 2004); see also Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad Inc., 358 F.3d 898, 906 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (discussing recent cases wherein the court expressly rejected the contention that if a patent describes only a single embodiment, the claims of the patent must be construed as being limited to that embodiment).

Additionally, we note that Applicants’ written description states that they are not bound by their specific embodiments:

While the invention has been described in detail with respect to specific aspects thereof, it will be appreciated that those skilled in the art, upon attaining an understanding of the foregoing, may readily conceive of alterations to, variations of and equivalents to these aspects. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention should be assessed as that of the appended claims and any equivalents thereto. Written Description, p. 31, ll. 18-22.

Yamamoto, In re, 740 F.2d 1569, 222 USPQ 934 (Fed. Cir.1984) . . . . . . . . . . . .2258

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

Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad Inc., 358 F.3d 898, 69 USPQ2d 1801 (Fed. Cir. 2004). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2111.01



3900 Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) Original Art Unit 3600
Ex parte PAUL ARTEMI Appellant 90/006,286 11/397,053 5,584,455 SONG 103(a) Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP Examiner Name: WOOD, KIMBERLY T


3900 Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) Original Art Unit 3634
Ex parte DISPLAYS BY MARTIN PAUL CREATIVE CENTER, INC., Patent Owner and Appellant 90/007,729 5,913,433 SONG 103(a) Jack A. Kanz Examiner Name: FLANAGAN, BEVERLY MEINDL

[T]he U.S.P.T.O. has recently clarified the procedure for seeking review of issues pertaining to substantial new question of patentability. See Clarification on the Procedure for Seeking Review of a Finding of a Substantial New Question of Patentability in Ex Parte Reexamination Proceedings, 75 Fed. Reg. 36357-58 (June 25, 2010) (hereinafter "Notice") (delegating the authority to review issues related to the Examiner's determination that a reference raises a substantial new question of patentability to the Chief Administrative Patent Judge, who may further delegate this authority to a panel of Administrative Patent Judges deciding the appeal in the ex parte reexamination proceeding).

In other words, "[o]ne of ordinary skill in the art need not see the identical problem addressed in a prior art reference" in order to apply its teachings. Cross Medical Prods., Inc. v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., 424 F.3d 1293, 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2005).

In a civil action, a challenger attacking the validity of patent claims must overcome the presumption of validity with clear and convincing evidence that the patent is invalid. 35 U.S.C. § 282. If this statutory burden is not met, "[c]ourts do not find patents 'valid', only that the patent challenger did not carry the 'burden of establishing invalidity in the particular case before the court'." Ethicon, Inc. v. Quigg, 849 F.2d 1422, 1429 n.3 (Fed. Cir. 1988) (internal citations omitted, original emphasis). Therefore, "[a] prior holding of validity is not necessarily inconsistent with a subsequent holding of invalidity," Stevenson v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 713 F.2d 705, 710 (Fed. Cir. 1983)), and is not binding on subsequent U.S.P.T.O. reexaminations. See Ethicon, 849 F.2d at 1429 and 1429 n.3 (rejecting the U.S.P.T.O.'s argument that it was bound by a court's decision upholding a patent's validity). In U.S.P.T.O. examinations and reexaminations, the standard of proof, i.e., by a preponderance of the evidence, is substantially lower than in a civil case. In re Caveney, 761 F.2d 671, 674 (Fed. Cir. 1985). Furthermore, there is no presumption of validity. In re Etter, 756 F.2d at 856. Moreover, claims in reexamination "will be given their broadest reasonable interpretation." In re Yamamoto, 740 F.2d 1569, 1571 (Fed. Cir. 1984) (citation omitted). Thus, considering an issue at the district court is not equivalent to the PTO considering the issue because the court and the PTO use different standards of proof. In addition, while settlement of patent litigation may be functionally identical to a license, and often includes an explicit license, a party may settle a patent litigation to reduce the costs of the legal process based upon an estimation of probable outcome and costs if the case proceeds. The Appellant has not directed us to evidence to show that it was the nature of the claimed invention and not other, e.g., economic, factors that led to the conclusion of the District Court litigation. See In re GPAC, Inc., 57 F.3d 1573, 1580 (Fed. Cir. 1995) ("Licenses taken under the patent in suit may constitute evidence of nonobviousness; however, only little weight can be attributed to such evidence if the patentee does not demonstrate 'a nexus between the merits of the invention and the licenses of record.'") (citation omitted). We decline to decide this appeal on the basis of a third party's financial and legal estimations.

Cross Med. Prods., Inc. v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., 424 F.3d 1293, 76 USPQ2d 1662 (Fed. Cir.2005) . . . . . .2144

Ethicon v. Quigg, 849 F.2d 1422, 7 USPQ2d 1152 (Fed. Cir. 1988) . . .1442.02, 2242,2286, 2642, 2686.04

Caveney, In re, 761 F.2d 671, 226 USPQ 1 (Fed. Cir. 1985) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2133.03(b)

Etter, In re, 756 F.2d 852, 225 USPQ 1(Fed. Cir. 1985) . . . . . . . . . 2242, 2258, 2279, 2286, 2642, 2686.04

Yamamoto, In re, 740 F.2d 1569, 222 USPQ 934 (Fed. Cir.1984) . . . . . . . . . . . .2258

GPAC, In re, 57 F.3d 1573, 35 USPQ2d 1116 (Fed. Cir. 1995) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 716.03, 2145


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