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Posts Tagged: "nonobvious"

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: Less Preferred Alternative is not Teaching Away

In an obviousness inquiry, material prior art references disclosing combinations of claimed limitations cannot be disregarded based on a drug product’s commercial viability or FDA approval. Teaching away from a claimed feature requires a reference to disclose that the feature is unworkable rather than less favorable.

Merck Process for Stabilizing Antibiotic Compound Invalid as Obvious

The District of Delaware found that one of two patents asserted by Merck was not invalid and infringed, and the other patent, while infringed, was invalid as obvious. Merck appealed the conclusion of invalidity. The Federal Circuit affirmed… If the strongest evidence of nonobviousness are objective indicia, it is critical for the patentee to persuade the finder of fact that all four Graham factors need to be evaluated contemporaneously in making an obviousness determination.

CAFC Vacates and Remands Inconsistent Rulings by the Board on Validity of two SynQor Patents

The Board failed to address all grounds for proposed rejections under the APA by ignoring certain arguments made by Vicor during the reexamination. Additionally, the Board failed to address all four Graham factors. “[E]vidence relating to all four Graham factors…must be considered before determining whether the claimed invention would have been obvious…” The Board’s decision was erroneous because the same panel reached inconsistent conclusions on the same issue between the same parties and on the same record, and without explanation.

Inquiry into Unexpectedness is Essential Even for Determining Obviousness in Inherency

The Federal Circuit reversed. Indeed, it found that the Board committed legal error by improperly relying on inherency to find obviousness and in its analysis of motivation to combine the references. The court found that the Board erred in relying on inherency to dismiss evidence showing unpredictability in the art in rejecting Honeywell’s argument that a skilled artisan would not have been motivated to combine the references with a reasonable expectation of success. It referred to an earlier opinion [citations omitted] to state that “the use of inherency in the context of obviousness must be carefully circumscribed because “[t]hat which may be inherent is not necessarily known” and that which is unknown cannot be obvious.”