Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In re Clay case brief

In re Clay case brief summary
966 F.2d 656 (1992)

Appellant inventor challenged a judgment of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, which affirmed appellee patent examiner's rejection of claims in his application as being unpatentable under 35 U.S.C.S. § 103.

The inventor applied for a patent for his process of storing refined liquid hydrocarbon product, to which two prior art references were applied by the patent examiner. The Board affirmed the patent examiner's rejection of claims in the inventor's patent application as being unpatentable under 35 U.S.C.S. § 103 for obviousness.

  • On appeal, the court found that it was error to find that the claims in the patent were obvious based on the references to nonanalogous prior art because the art was not with the inventor's field of endeavor or reasonably pertinent to the problem that the inventor attempted to solve with his invention. 
  • The court reversed, finding that one having ordinary skill in the art would not reasonably have expected to solve the problem the inventor's process was directed at by considering a reference to nonanalogous prior Article
The judgment was reversed. The court found that rejection of inventor's claims for obviousness under patent law was improper where the patent examiner had rejected the application based upon an application of non-analogous prior Article

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