The Supreme Court Should Grant Cert in Zup to Correct Obviousness Doctrine

“The Zup case presents an excellent vehicle for correcting Federal Circuit rulings and restoring rationality and predictability to obviousness doctrine.”

On behalf of nonprofit, U.S. Inventor, Inc., and over a dozen other amici, Flachsbart & Greenspoon, LLC has submitted a Brief of Amici Curiae urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari from the Federal Circuit’s notoriously error-ridden decision in the waterskiing case: Zup, LLC v. Nash Manufacturing, Inc. Reviewing this decision will be an excellent way to get obviousness doctrine back on track.

In that 2-1 decision (with Judge Newman dissenting), the Federal Circuit held that even “considerable” or “strong” objective evidence of nonobviousness will sometimes not save a patent from an obviousness ruling. That ruling is wrong. It is also out of touch with Supreme Court doctrine.

Geo. Martin Relied Upon After Being Overruled

In announcing its disdain for objective indicia of nonobviousness, the panel majority resuscitated a prior Federal Circuit decision. That earlier decision (Geo. M. Martin Co. v. All. Mach. Sys. Int’l LLC, 618 F.3d 1294 (Fed. Cir. 2010)) had been interpreted to hold that objective evidence of nonobviousness always deserves no weight when “the differences between the prior art and the claimed invention are [] minimal.” The panel majority apparently overlooked Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elect. Co., 839 F.3d 1034, 1056-57 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (en banc), which overruled this exact point of law, stating unambiguously: “we reject such a categorical rule.” Is it a coincidence that the members of the Zup panel majority were dissenters from the Apple decision?

Even the en banc Apple holding did not go far enough, in view of how the Supreme Court actually treats objective indicia. It takes little effort to discover that Supreme Court law holds that evidence of objective indicia (particularly long-felt need) outweighs inferences of technical obviousness in exactly that situation where some Federal Circuit judges give it no weight—when the improvements seem minimal and simple.

Getting to The Point

The whole point of obviousness law is to weed out developments that deserve the protections of a patent from those that do not. Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1, 11-12 (1966) (noting that patentability tests are a “means of weeding out those inventions which would not be disclosed or devised but for the inducement of a patent.”). The law of obviousness contemplates that some developments, though technically novel, do not deserve a patent because ordinarily-skilled artisans would inevitably (and soon) already develop them. Id. If the field would already, inevitably, and soon, give rise to the technology under review, no patent should issue. But if the field needed a unique push from one particular inventor to trigger that particular improvement in the art, the inventor deserves a patent.

The Supreme Court has noted that the most probative indicator of what would have happened in the real world is what did happen in the real world.

The Carnegie Steel Example

The Supreme Court considers that long-felt need (where present) indicates the patentability of an invention. See, e.g., Carnegie Steel Co. v. Cambria Iron Co., 185 U.S. 403 (1902). As recited in the facts of Carnegie Steel, steel makers faced a longstanding problem of inefficiency in the leading steel-making method of the day: the “indirect method.” Under the indirect method, blast furnace molten iron had to be solidified into “pigs,” and then re-melted to carry out the final carbonization to make iron into steel. Id. at 410-12. Many in the industry had attempted a “direct” method, involving direct delivery of molten iron from multiple blast furnaces to the final stage. But these attempts resulted in non-uniform and inconsistent product and had to be abandoned. Id. at 411. Then Jones found the solution: using covered channels from the blast furnaces that fill an intermediate always-filled covered reservoir, thus continually mixing the molten intermediate product and eliminating the non-uniformities. Id. at 415, 425. The Jones invention changed everything. Manufacturers no longer needed to solidify and re-melt the pigs.

The process deserved a patent for the very reason that Jones came up with a simple solution in the face of long-felt need, since that is the “common history of important inventions”:

It is true the Jones patent is a simple one, and in the light of present experience it seems strange that none of the expert steel makers, who approach so near the consummation of their desires, should have failed to take the final step which was needed to convert their experiments into an assured success. This, however, is but the common history of important inventions, the simplicity of which seems to the ordinary observer to preclude the possibility of their involving an exercise of the inventive faculty. The very fact that the attempt which had been made to secure a uniformity of product, seems to have been abandoned after the Jones invention came into popular notice, is strong evidence tending to show that this patent contains something which was of great value to the manufacturers of steel, and which entitled Jones to the reward due to a successful inventor.

Id. at 429-30. The Carnegie Steel Court concluded by extensively quoting its prior holding that “it is evidence of invention” when a combination of known elements that were each “under their very eyes” of “even the most skillful persons . . . produce a new and useful result, never attained before”:

We cannot better conclude this opinion than by the following extract from the opinion of Mr. Justice Bradley in Loom Co. v. Higgins, 105 U.S. 580, 591: “But it is plain from the evidence, and from the very fact that it was not sooner adopted and used, that it did not, for years, occur in this light to even the most skillful persons. It may have been under their very eyes, they may almost be said to have stumbled over it; but they certainly failed to see it, to estimate its value, and to bring it into notice. . . . Now that it has succeeded, it may seem very plain to any one that he could have done it as well. This is often the case with inventions of the greatest merit. It may be laid down as a general rule, though perhaps not an invariable one, that if a new combination and arrangement of known elements produce a new and beneficial result, never attained before, it is evidence of invention.”

Id. at 446.

In fact, proof that a combination met a long-felt need implies invention, and thus constitutes proof that the combination produces synergistic results—i.e., a new function or operation for the parts-in-combination, not theretofore known. Paramount Publix Corp. v. American Tri-Ergon Corp., 294 U.S. 464, 474 (1935) (“Where the method or device satisfies an old and recognized want, invention is to be inferred, rather than the exercise of mechanical skill. For mere skill of the art would normally have been called into action by the generally known want.”) (emphasis added).

A “Long Felt Need” for Predictability

The Brief we have submitted in Zup contains additional reasoning on point. Notably, the Brief demonstrates error by those judges who believe that the Graham decision (as well as the later KSR decision) found obviousness “despite” the presence of objective indicia. It is easy to show that those cases involved the absence of objective indicia as a factual matter, and thus cannot be read to diminish the importance of objective indicia when present.

The Zup case presents an excellent vehicle for correcting Federal Circuit rulings and restoring rationality and predictability to obviousness doctrine. Petitioner contends (and submitted evidence) that the Zup waterskiing invention opened up the sport for the first time for nonathletic participants. The “simple” solution was a set of structures, admittedly novel in its combination, that let a user rise from a prone to an upright position while remaining stable, to grasp the tow rope. Where there is evidence of long-felt need, a court should not rule a patent claim obvious because the solution was simple and those of skill “stumbled over it” without discovering it. That is instead why a court should hold the claim nonobvious.

Note: Gene Quinn drafted the Zup patent at issue.

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Copyright: Melpomene


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Join the Discussion

29 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Daniel Hanson]
    Daniel Hanson
    March 12, 2019 03:27 pm

    Certiorari was denied on February 19, 2019.

  • [Avatar for anon]
    January 29, 2019 11:58 am

    Added handles to provide the effect for which they’re known – definitely prima facie obviousness. The fact that there is commercial success can be because of many factors other than inventiveness.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    January 27, 2019 09:07 am


    The “economic monopolists” that you speak of go by another name as well: Efficient Infringers.

    But I would add that they are not the only forces aligned against a strong patent system.

    Another force aligned against patents is the philosophical camp that detests the notion of personal property rights to begin with: the far political Left.

    They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, but what you actually see is that the “bedfellows” may be aligned in the short term and that each (of the Left and of the Big Corp Efficient Infringers) may be viewing the actions of the other as actions to be leveraged for their own agenda. In this manner, the objective points that you share will be obfuscated by drivers of other elements of each of the views of those seeking a weaker patent system (sacrificing one aspect for the perceived philosophical benefit of another aspect).

    This is one reason that I perceive in why it is so very difficult to have those objective points that you raise actually register and make traction. It is simply in the (other) interests of multiple parties — for multiple different reasons — to NOT treat the discussion on an inte11ectually honest (read that as objective) basis.

    Being able to identify AND nullify the bias being brought to the table of discussion is a difficult task in any forum. With blogging, and without the ability to have people not only acknowledge these things, but to integrate them into the discussion, you will end up with what so very often happens: “Internet style shoutdowns,” in which a viewpoint is merely repeated ad infinitum and regardless of any larger reality.

  • [Avatar for Michael Shore]
    Michael Shore
    January 26, 2019 10:36 pm

    Patents serve many important purposes not obvious to the public.

    Income Inequality: Democrats who support Silicon Valley’s anti-patent campaign fail to realize that the gross income inequality is exacerbated, even caused by a weak patent system. When economic monopolists can avoid the patent monopoly of small companies and individual inventors, they grow bigger and richer, voraciously taking ever bigger pieces of the pie while their smaller innovating competitors are bankrupted or forced to sell or license cheap. Patents spread the wealth instead of allowing it to be further concentrated.

    Innovation vs Cannibalization: Economic monopolists love the status quo. They are in fact afraid of radically new improvements in technology because it often requires retooling, new systems and expensive changes to their already successful businesses. The economic monopolists are less innovative because their own innovation replaced their existing, highly profitable products in which they have already invested. A new market entrant has more incentive to innovate because the innovation is their primary business not a replacement for existing products. Tesla could never come out of Ford or GM because Ford and GM saw no benefit to replacing their gasoline cars with high risk investments in a completely new paradigm that would replace their existing one that makes billions and is supported by billions in past investment. So GM and Ford waited until Tesla proved a threat to get into high performance electrics. The same is true for autonomous cars.

    Small Business Growth/Investment: Small businesses have a hard time obtaining bank financing because banks are regulated and therefore risk averse. This is the trade-off for deposit insurance. This means small investors have to depend on venture capital and friends and family financing. The risks of such financing necessitates high returns. The patent system when strong reduces the risk, thereby reducing the risk premium in financing costs. A weak patent system makes startups far riskier, less likely to be financed and therefore innovations never get funded. Small businesses employ the majority of Americans and create the most jobs. Weakening patents weakens the job creation machine that has driven America.

    Patents matter. But they are hated by economic monopolists who only want to protect their status and ability to continue to dominate the US financially and politically with less innovative, inferior products or products they steal. Patents matter.

  • [Avatar for Kip Doyle]
    Kip Doyle
    January 26, 2019 11:26 am

    As a fellow indie inventor and a writer, I am working on a book that tries to make accessible to all, in terms we can understand, how the erosion of protective patent laws at USPTO is triggering the death spiral to all invention. I had the great opportunity to speak with Glen, the inventor of Zup. I also spoke with others including Josh Malone, the inventor of Bunch O’ Balloons. I urge every inventor to watch the documentary “Invalidated: The Shredding of the US Patent System”

    In there, the most important point raised is: for all the money spent by inventors defending their patents against the deep-pocketed infringers, we will never know how many more inventions could have arisen from the money wasted on these corrupt PTAB antics. Wasted money and wasted time that could be spent on inventing and coming up with new inventions! We will never know. Inventors are de-incentivized here in the US. Why invent here under a patent system that when your patent is put to the test, it will be invalidated at a walloping 76% of the time!!! Inventors will go to other countries. The Brain Drain of US Inventors is well underway.

    Email me if you have a quote and a story I can include in my book. We all need to flank this enemy of invention, the USPTO, once the most powerful in all the world now pure death to innovation and the assured end of US invention.

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    January 25, 2019 07:48 pm

    If I, as an inventor, could trust to rely upon Carnegie Steel, <i.Paramount Publix and Loom Co. v. Higgins, at the SCOTUS, and at both the CAFC and the USPTO, then I would file a U.S. patent application tomorrow.

    This also presumes sufficient legislative understanding of the above described concepts of patent eligibility. And, that the U.S. Supreme Court and the CAFC abandon their apparent addiction to ‘nose of wax’ decision making as regards cases under U.S. patent law.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    January 25, 2019 03:45 pm

    Mr. Cole @ 16,

    I invite you to re-read my post – the objective portion is the evidentiary relevant portion – the “heart-felt” notions – not so.

  • [Avatar for Ian Smith]
    Ian Smith
    January 25, 2019 01:41 pm

    I’ve been working with Glen Duff and the ZUP brand for just under a year, but I have quickly seen how beneficial his line of products are to the Watersports community as a whole. They allow essentially any age or body type to get into the water and experience the fun and excitement of Watersports, without the frustration that comes with learning on so many of the other types of boards. It’s also great due to the fact that it can be easily ridden in several different ways (laying, kneeling, sitting, standing) unlike many of the other products on the market that focus mainly on one style of riding.

    I have over 10 years of experience as an athlete within the Watersports industry and I have personally seen people give up on learning to ski because they were just so frustrated at not being able to stand up. I have also seen the contrast of this with several people who have never skied before and tried the ZUP board and been blown away at how easy it is to learn on.

    I fully stand behind Glen and the ideas and innovations that he has brought to the table. I firmly believe that what he has created is a product that will allow consumers to experience the joy that can be felt from learning to water ski.

  • [Avatar for Josh Malone]
    Josh Malone
    January 25, 2019 12:42 pm

    The thing is that Zup put on evidence such as these testimonies, plenty of evidence to establish a a genuine issue of material fact. It is astounding that such evidence is not even considered, it gets zero weight. Why? Because the lower courts are not following the Supreme Court in Graham v. Deere which requires consideration of such evidence. They have made up a new rule, in violation of the Supreme Court, that they only have to consider three of the Graham factors, and can disregard the 4th factor. Certiori must be granted.

  • [Avatar for Paul Cole]
    Paul Cole
    January 25, 2019 11:43 am

    @ Anon 14

    In the unforgettable en banc decision in Apple v Samsung, it was JUST this kind of evidence that swung the decision. The experience of actual users that this board is better than what existed before and meets a real need is probably the most significant and cogent evidence of inventiveness – see especially Tom Hart at 8. I have had a look at the prior art cited, and believe me it is not inspiring.

  • [Avatar for Night Writer]
    Night Writer
    January 25, 2019 10:58 am

    This case too illustrates that we just have to disband the CAFC. It has been stacked with anti-patent judicial activists that —frankly–had character issues.

    The group of judges on the CAFC is just a disgrace. There are only a couple that are actually qualified in that they are trained in science and practiced patent law before being appointed and some that are technically qualified were selected for expressing virulently anti-patent opinions before being appointed.

    There is just no way we are ever going to have a sane patent system with this group of judges.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    January 25, 2019 10:36 am

    Sadly (or not), Mr. Cole, such heart-felt stories are not the type of hard-core evidentiary matters that actually support a legal position.

    The secondary factors are called “objective indicia” for a reason – and that reason is exactly opposite the sense of “heart-felt” that the last few comments evoke.

    Leastwise, the comments in their heart-felt sense do not support the necessary legal position directly. They may provide a smidgeon of “long felt need” (if enough may be gathered over a sufficient timeframe). They may also provide a smidgeon of “failure of others” (combined with indicia that others HAVE failed). Or they may provide some other smidgeon for some other objective factor. Emotion – per se – is NOT one of those other objective factors.

  • [Avatar for Paul Cole]
    Paul Cole
    January 25, 2019 08:54 am

    The last few comments are eloquent testimony supporting the incorrectness of the obviousness decision.

  • [Avatar for Tim Munting]
    Tim Munting
    January 25, 2019 02:03 am

    Where do I start. I’m based over in the uk. I have a boat and waterski, wakeboard etc. It’s always hard getting people to master one of these when they visit. Most times they go on the inflatables but leave feeling they haven’t accomplished something. Until I stumbled across the zip board. I ordered one along with the handle and oh my what a great bit of kit. I have people feeling great that they come and can do something. We have good times on the zuo experimenting. The best thing for me is when I get the youngsters as low as 2 on this board. Their faces and the parents are ones to remember. Having a happy child is amazing.
    I love this product so much when they released the do more zup shipped one to the Uk for me as they were not selling over here at that time. Now this product is amazing.
    So eager to see more from this company so please assist them.
    Their products are great for the industry and you can see why people are jealous.
    Let’s get zup out there and make more children and adults happy.

  • [Avatar for Greg Hodgin]
    Greg Hodgin
    January 25, 2019 12:39 am

    As the director of Wake the World ( a nonprofit that provides water sports opportunities for underprivileged kids, handicapable persons and wounded warriors) the ZUP board has been instrumental in our programs.

    Before the ZUP board, we would spend a lot more time to teach each person how to get up on skis or a wake board. With the ZUP board, they get up on the first pull, every time, with out exception. Because the ZUP board is so versatile ( lay, sit, kneel, stand, surf even lay on your back) it is not only great for beginners, it also teaches them balance and technique that transfers to other equipment. There was absolutely nothing else on the market like it! It even created a whole new category of equipment, “all in one board”.

    ZUP is constantly innovating and spends a lot of time with our group as well as many others to make their products the best they can be. As a result of working closely with these groups, it was discovered that the ZUP boards work excellently for Adaptive Watersports as well.

    Anyone that teaches or shares Watersports with tons of others will tell you that a ZUP is a must have item.
    – Greg Hodgin, Wake the World

  • [Avatar for Brad Bird]
    Brad Bird
    January 24, 2019 11:04 pm

    ZUP boards have enabled us as a Non profit and friends to the community by being able to give anyone of any skill level the chance to experience water sports. We have seen people try for hours and even days trying to ski and wake board, but the individuals never “got up”. Then we were introduced to ZUP and boom!!! everyone rides. If you can sit and hold on… then you can ZUP, but if you have “skills” and you get on the ZUP board, you would not be held back from spinning or even jumping. Everyone gets up on ZUP……Everyone.

  • [Avatar for kris johanson]
    kris johanson
    January 24, 2019 09:47 pm

    We love our ZUP boards, and yes, they are a game changer. We use our boat for towing people that have never experienced water sports far more than we do people with experience or notable talent. The ZUP boards help to limit some of the challenges that new riders face, such as fear of speed while standing up and not having the upper body strength required to get “up” on ski’s or wake boards, or even just getting a feel for balance while moving on the water. First time riders who succeed are excited to come back and try other toys as well. No other single device that we carry with us on the boat is more universally ride-able than the ZUPS, Since purchasing, we haven’t gone to the lake without them.

  • [Avatar for Derek Camann]
    Derek Camann
    January 24, 2019 07:42 pm

    My daughter even had a ZUP board birthday party, allowing her to bring friends to the lake that have never been pulled behind a boat. It was a blast. ZUP has designed a board that allows beginners the thrill of being able to advance their skills while feeling comfortable using the board that they learned on.

  • [Avatar for Chris]
    January 24, 2019 07:32 pm

    We love our ZUP boards! We have been able to get individuals who were scared of water skiing out on the water and confident in their abilities. Every time we take the boat out, our ZUP boards go with. They are an amazing tool in growing water sports!

  • [Avatar for Jonathan Henry]
    Jonathan Henry
    January 24, 2019 07:32 pm

    I love the fact we had access to a Zup board. We had access to the usual watersports equipment likes skis, knee boards, and wake boards but my children were intimidated to try those. The Zup board gave them the opportunity to get out on the water. Without a Zup board they would have been left out only to watch others. As a parent I can’t describe how happy it made me to see them enjoying the water the way I did. The versatility and ease of use is like nothing else out there. I can’t thank Zup enough for providing my children the opportunity to enjoy watersports.

  • [Avatar for Night Writer]
    Night Writer
    January 24, 2019 03:20 pm

    I think this needs a cert too. I was doing this before KSR came out. Used to be TSM and that worked very well. Objective and fair process. Now the whole process is just hit or miss. Plus what I have noticed in the CAFC jurisprudence is a complete lack of understanding of hindsight reasoning. This is considered a profound psychological affect where one has a very difficult time conceiving of what it may have been like not to know something. There have been many psychological experiments that illustrate this affect.

    (The other thing the CAFC is doing is that for claim construction and 112 they are removing what a person of ordinary skill knows. So—adding more of what the POSITA knows for 103 and removing it for 112 and claim construction.)

  • [Avatar for Tom Hart]
    Tom Hart
    January 24, 2019 10:28 am

    My name is Tom Hart I am the executive director and founder of Above the Wake. We are a Michigan based nonprofit that teachers water sports the children with autism. The first year we provided this service we did not use the zup board and only worked with a handful of children . At the beginning of our year number two, we started using the zup board and since that point we average over 200 children with different disabilities utilizing this awesome product every year. This product was designed for the general public, but has been instrumental by providing us the best tool to include kids that have a diagnosis that society says they can’t participate based on having autism or some other cognitive impairment. We have been very successful working with a population that is often discriminated against and have created the opportunity of inclusion through the use of this product. The two-sided handle system allows for children to focus on riding the board and not worry about a tow rope. When they get comfortable enough they can grab this rope without worry of pinching fingers, it has revolutionize the way that we are able to educate the children we work with.
    We want to encourage the SCOTUS to take this case and make a fair and impartial decision.

  • [Avatar for Paul Cole]
    Paul Cole
    January 24, 2019 09:34 am

    Anyone doubting the importance of secondary evidence should read Apple v Samsung, and especially the discussion of the slide-to-release patent. The court’s comparative evaluation of the applause given to Steve Jobs at the iPhone launch and the hindsight analysis of allegedly expert witnesses is something of which every practitioner should be aware.

    As we all know E = mc2 is a simple quadratic equation. Quadratic equations are taught to schoolchildren. Therefore there can have been no ingenuity in finding this particular quadratic relationship, can there?

    From Graham:

    “While the ultimate question of patent validity is one of law, Great A. & P. Tea Co. v. Supermarket Equipment Corp., supra, at 340 U. S. 155, the § 103 condition, which is but one of three conditions, each of which must be satisfied, lends itself to several basic factual inquiries. Under § 103, the scope and content of the prior art are to be determined; differences between the prior art and the claims at issue are to be ascertained; and the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art resolved. Against this background, the obviousness or nonobviousness of the subject matter is determined. Such secondary considerations as commercial success, long felt but unsolved needs, failure of others, etc., might be utilized to give light to the circumstances surrounding the origin of the subject matter sought to be patented. As indicia of obviousness or nonobviousness, these inquiries may have relevancy.”

    That says it all, I think.

  • [Avatar for Disenfranchised Patent Owner]
    Disenfranchised Patent Owner
    January 24, 2019 09:08 am


    Another great article, indeed, and yet another truly excellent brief.

    Obviousness should not be assessed by using an “in the eye of the beholder” standard based on hindsight; nor should it be determined by recalcitrant judges who undermine [i.e., “invalidate”] patented inventions by deferentially upholding erroneous lower court and/or PTAB decisions [i.e., CAFC Rule 36 decisions].

    Hopefully, SCOTUS will take this case and use it to inform CAFC regarding the obvious intent of the law: “To promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;”

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    January 24, 2019 08:44 am

    Note: Gene Quinn drafted the Zup patent at issue.

    Quite apart from the thrust of this thread (and not intending to hi-jack the thread), I have to wonder how Gene would draft the claims in today’s climate.

  • [Avatar for Glen Duff]
    Glen Duff
    January 24, 2019 08:38 am

    Thanks to all who are supporting our rights to obtain patents that support our innovations!

  • [Avatar for concerned]
    January 24, 2019 04:42 am

    Just the fact that a process solves a problem the experts and professionals in the field have not solved for decades should issue a patent (period). That is what my process accomplished and that is what patents are about.

    Yet, the patent examiner claimed my process is conventional, well understood and routine. By whom on Earth is my process so well understood, conventional and routine that the problem would be allowed to continue to occur for 62 years at the costs of billions of dollars to governments and financial hardship to retirees and their family members? The examiner offered no rebuttal proof to substantiate his claim, he just said it was so.

    At first, the examiner used the s103 argument, then fell back on the old tried and true s101 conventional, well understood, and routine argument to defeat my patent application even though such an argument is not factual, not truthful and not logical on the surface.

    The only thing consistent in the prosecution of my patent application it is going to be rejected at all costs. It is like the USPTO and courts look for reasons to reject,whether it is s101 or s103 in this article.

    The new Director is trying to change this culture. I am not so sure his rank and file will fall in line.

  • [Avatar for Jeff L.]
    Jeff L.
    January 24, 2019 01:09 am

    IPWatchdog, unsurprisingly, takes yet another stand for sanity and reason. Please keep it up! Great post.

  • [Avatar for Josh Malone]
    Josh Malone
    January 23, 2019 11:04 pm

    This strikes close to home. The idea that a competitor can copy/steal an invention, pay a so-called “expert” to say the invention would have been obvious, and invalidate the inventor’s patent is an outrage. Yet that is what happened to Glen Duff. It very nearly happened to me.