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Posts Tagged: "hindsight"

SharkNinja Denied by PTAB, IPR Petition to Vacuum Cleaner Hose Patent Not Instituted

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a decision denying the institution of an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding petitioned by home appliance developer SharkNinja. The decision leaves in place all claims of a patent asserted against SharkNinja in U.S. district court through a patent infringement case filed by appliance hose manufacturer Flexible Technologies. In denying SharkNinja’s petition for IPR, the PTAB panel of Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) found that implementing the hose found in Rohn to be a stretch hose as taught by Martin would render Rohn’s hose inoperable for its intended purpose… As for the Nagayoshi prior art reference, the PTAB sided with Flexible Technologies in finding that SharkNinja’s asserted combination is difficult to distinguish from a hindsight analysis…

Conjecture and Speculation in Patent Obviousness: Trading Logic for Hindsight

Hindsight bias, the phenomenon that things seem more predictable and obvious after they have occurred, is one of the most widely-studied “decision traps” in psychology… Patent litigation plays right into such human limitations, which affect judges and jurors alike. Patents are often litigated many years after the invention was made, and very often those who are accused of patent infringement will argue that the invention was obvious at the time it was made and a patent was applied for… And we accept a surprising amount of other conjecture in this analysis. For example, judges and jurors are told about a contemporaneous hypothetical person that – despite having only ordinary skill in the relevant technology – would have had super-human knowledge of all then-existing technical information, was fluent in every language under the sun, and would have done insane things to access information sources.

PTAB Ruling Tainted by Hindsight; Failure to Consider Undisputed Commercial Success

The Federal Circuit also remanded to the Board further consideration of the undisputed evidence presented by Polaris that its ATVs were a commercial success. Polaris presented undisputed evidence that its vehicles had generated over $1.5 billion in sales since 2007 and that the commercial product was tied to the patent and claims entitling Polaris to a presumption of a nexus. Despite this undisputed evidence the Board still concluded that Polaris failed to prove a nexus, finding Polaris’ evidence conclusory.

Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Decision on Obviousness, Judge Newman Dissents

The Court’s opinion stresses that in an obviousness analysis, it should consider “whether the improvement is more than the predictable use of prior art elements according to their established functions.” An explicit teaching, suggestion, or motivation in the references is not necessary to support a conclusion of obviousness… Judge Newman dissented with the majority’s finding there was motivation to combine the references without hindsight. She argued that the references recite thousands of polymer and copolymer components for stent coating materials, but not the copolymer of the ’844 patent.