Friday, December 07, 2012

Newspaper articles as 102(b) art in In re Ditto

From In re Ditto

Two pieces of prior art are pertinent. The first is a column titled “Home-grown Pixie-Bob is bound to capture you,” published in The Seattle Times on July 10, 1994 (“Green”). Green describes a breed that developed natu- rally as the result of a bobcat mating in a barn with a family’s domestic cat. The article describes the breed as having “a muscular, rangy body, thick legs, ticked coat, loose skin and short tail . . . .” Appellee’s App. 45. The cats typically weighed between eight and twenty-two pounds. Green noted that “Pixie-Bobs are often called ‘dogs in disguise’ because of their canine-like temperament” and that they are “highly trainable.” Id. Carol Ann Brewer, who is credited as the founder of the Pixie-Bob breed, is quoted in the article and is referred to as the “Pixie-Bob matriarch.” Id.

One year later, a newspaper article published in The Bellingham Herald (“Porter”) described a new cat breed. Porter explains that “[t]he breed is called Pixie-Bob, a cross between bobcats and domestic cats.” Id. at 43. Porter stated that, two weeks before publication of the article, the Pixie-Bob was presented before TICA, where the Pixie-Bob obtained “[o]verwhelming approval that recognizes the cat as an official breed for showing and judging”.Id. Porteraddedthat“theoptimumspecimenof a Pixie-Bob “retains the face and body features of a bob- cat—tufts of hair over the ear, spotted fur, short tail—but the general size and temperament of a domestic [cat].” Id. The article notes that “[t]he cats are protective, like dogs, and like to be on leashes,” and that they are “100 percent people cats” with “stabilizing” personalities. Id. The article prominently features Brewer.


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