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High court sends message on patent obviousness

One of the primary burdens facing a patent applicant before the United States Patent and Trademark Office is the requirement that the claimed invention is not obvious under 35 U.S.C. 103. Similarly, obviousness is a typical defense raised in patent infringement cases. Yet, overcoming obviousness objections, both in the PTO and in p......

Full article >>> ot point. Notably, one prior art reference was not before the PTO, which disclosed an adjustable pedal with a fixed pivot point.

Lower-court proceedings

The district court found the patent obvious based upon the disclosures in the prior art. Relying upon its TSM test, the Federal Circuit reversed, finding that the lower court failed to strictly apply the TSM test. Specific......

Full article >>> nding a specific teaching, suggestion, or motivation within published articles and references. The TSM test failed to account for the diversity of inventive pursuits, and the fact that published discussions of the state of the art may not be available as market demand, rather than scientific literature, may drive design trends.

By merely combining known elements, a patent applicant was no......

Full article >>> determine their freedom to operate in view of a competitor's patents, KSR may warrant a reconsideration of the potential weaknesses of those patents. Certainly, KSR will embolden companies to raise obviousness challenges and vigorously defend against charges of patent infringement.

Additionally, companies may be more aggressive in considering the scope of their freedom to operate as the......

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'"/> By John Scheller 05/08/07

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