PTAB’s Adoption of Petitioner’s Arguments Regarding Modification of a Prior Art Reference Held Minimally Sufficient to Support its Obviousness Determination

IGNITE USA, LLC v. CAMELBAK PRODS., LLC: October 12, 2017 (non-precedential). Before Prost, Wallach, and Taranto.   Takeaway: PTAB’s adoption of Petitioner’s obviousness arguments in its opinion was “sufficient, if minimally,” to explain the connection between its factual findings and legal conclusion of obviousness. Procedural Posture: CamelBak Products, LLC petitioned for …

R&H’s Processes for Preparing Emulsion Polymers with Improved Opacity Not Invalid over the Prior Art that Does Not Include a “Swelling Agent” Narrowly Construed by the PTAB

ORGANIK KIMYA AS v. ROHM AND HAAS COMPANY: October 11, 2017. Before Prost, Newman, and Taranto.   Takeaway: Where a patent specification uses the word ‘include’ immediately followed by the phrase ‘are those which,’ the element is properly limited to the embodiments “which exhibit the functional characteristics thereafter described.” Procedural …

CAFC Upheld TTAB’s Decision to Deny Registration of a Mark Merely Descriptive of a Feature of Goods and Services

IN RE:  NORTH CAROLINA LOTTERY:  August 10, 2017.  Before Prost, Chen and Hughes.   Takeaway: As a legal matter, the TTAB did not err by considering the explanatory text of the specimens in the inquiry of whether the mark was descriptive. A mark that merely describes a feature of goods and …

PTAB Cannot Treat Pre-AIA Means-Plus-Function Limitations As Purely Functional Under the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard

IPCOM GMBH & CO. v. HTC CORPORATION: July 7, 2017. Before Prost, Clevenger, Chen. Takeaway: Pre-AIA §112 ¶ 6 (means-plus-function) claim construction analysis requires that the Board not only identify the particular claimed function, but also identify the corresponding structure, material, or acts that perform that function in the specification. …

Expenses Incurred by Government Attorneys during a 35 U.S.C. § 145 Appeal Can Be Recovered by the USPTO

NANTKWEST, INC. v. MATAL: June 23, 2017.  Before Prost, Dyk, and Stoll.   Takeaway: Expenses incurred by USPTO during a 35 U.S.C. § 145 appeal include a pro-rata share of the incurred attorneys’ fees. The American Rule denying attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party does not apply when applicable statute specifically and …