Tag Archive: obviousness

Sep 01

PTAB Reversed Based on Non-Analogous Art Theory

Although In re Natural Alternatives LLC (Fed. Cir. August 31, 2016) is not an IPR appeal, it should be of interest to those who care about IPRs and PGRs because it reflects a successful appeal from the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) involving the fairly rare issue of non-analogous art. Natural Alternatives (NA) owns US …

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Aug 16

“Substantial Evidence” Hurdle is Substantially Difficult to Overcome

One of the less appreciated hurdles to a successful appeal of a Final Written Decision in an IPR proceeding is the “substantial evidence” standard of review the Federal Circuit applies to the Graham factors that underlie a determination of obviousness.  Although the ultimate determination of obviousness is a legal issue subject to de novo review, the …

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Aug 11

PTAB Reversed–Common Sense Improperly Used to Supply Missing Limitation in Obviousness Inquiry

In a rare rebuke of the PTAB’s discretion, the Federal Circuit has outright reversed a finding of obviousness based on the Board’s misapplication of the law on the permissible use of “common sense” in an obviousness analysis.  The case, Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple Inc., Google Inc., and Motorola Mobility LLC (Aug. 10, 2016) involved a …

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Aug 05

Federal Circuit Provides Ammunition to Patentees In Magnum Decision

Patent Owners gained a bit of a reprieve in the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in In Re Magnum Oil Tool Int’l, Ltd., decided on July 25, 2016. In several key respects, Patent Owners regained some footing in the otherwise daunting IPR process. As an initial matter, in one of its first post-Cuozzo (Supreme Court edition) decisions, the …

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May 19

PTAB Reversed for Failing to Explain “Why” a Person of Skill Would Modify the Prior Art

It is no secret that patent owners have, on average, struggled at the PTAB over the last three and a half years.  Some practitioners say that a reason for this result is that the Board many times takes an aggressive approach in the assessment of “obviousness” under Section 103.  Yesterday, the Federal Circuit issued its …

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Apr 13

Toward a Bullet-Proof Petition – Motivation to Combine

While 8 out of 10 Petitions seeking inter partes review are granted by the PTAB, there remain several key errors that unsuccessful Petitioners make. Among them is the failure to provide sufficient factual basis for a rationale to combine prior art references in an obviousness analysis. That issue arose, in an unsuccessful petition, in Kinetic Technologies, Inc. …

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Mar 05

Another IPR Petition Comes Up Short for Failing to Adequately Show Rationale to Combine

Many Patent Owners are finding success in undermining the challenge grounds of a Petition by arguing that the Petition fails to make an adequate showing that a person of ordinary skill in the art would have combined the relied-on references. That was the case in Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Zimmer, Inc. v. Bonutti Skeletal Innovations …

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Dec 16

Rationale from Denied Ground Used By PTAB In Final Written Decision

Lost a challenge ground in the Board’s Decision to Institute? The Board has given some hope that such denied grounds may still of use in an IPR proceeding in McClinton Energy Group, LLC v. Magnum Oil Tools International, Ltd., IPR2013-00231, involving US Pat. No. 8,079,413. In this decision on a motion for rehearing, the Board affirmed the propriety …

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Nov 03

PTAB Discusses Nexus in Secondary Considerations Argument

There have been many attempts by Patent Owners to rebut a prima facie case of obviousness by pointing to secondary considerations of non-obviousness. To date, such efforts have been unsuccessful. Like the largely unsuccessful motion to amend practice, the best practitioners can hope for is to learn from the shortcomings of other attempts and hope to …

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Oct 20

PTAB Disqualifies Art as Being Non-Analogous to Claimed Invention

A limited number of cases, to date, have dealt with the issue of analogous prior art in an obviousness analysis. In Schott Gemtron Corp. v. SSW Holding Co., IPR2014-00358, the Board addressed this type of issue, finding in favor of Patent Owner that the art-at-issue was not analogous and, thus, disqualifying its use in the IPR …

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