GE/NBC lose at the Board
Leapfrog is cited:
Our reviewing court stated in Leapfrog Enterprises Inc. v. Fisher-Price Inc., 485 F.3d 1157 (Fed. Cir. 2007) that one of ordinary skill in the art would have found it obvious to combine an old electromechanical device with electronic circuitry “to update it using modern electronic components in order to gain the commonly understood benefits of such adaptation, such as decreased size, increased reliability, simplified operation, and reduced cost. . . . The combination is thus the adaptation of an old idea or invention . . . using newer technology that is commonly available and understood in the art.” Id. at 1162.
In re Venner provides further support for the proposition that automation of a manual process would be obvious. See In re Venner, 262 F.2d 91, 94 (CCPA 1958) (Appellant argued that claims to a permanent mold casting apparatus for molding trunk pistons were allowable over the prior art because the claimed invention combined “old permanent-mold structures together with a timer and solenoid which automatically actuates the known pressure valve system to release the inner core after a predetermined time has elapsed.”). The court held that broadly providing an automatic or mechanical means to replace a manual activity which accomplished the same result is not sufficient to distinguish over the prior art.
Applicants' specification is cited:
Arguably this and the preceding portions of Appellants’ Specification teaches a known, non-automated prior art method
KSR is cited:
In KSR, the Court stated “[t]he combination of familiar elements according to known methods is likely to be obvious when it does no more than yield predictable results.” KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398, 416 (2007).
Kahn is cited for "articulated reasoning"-->
Finally, we note that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that “[t]he obviousness analysis cannot be confined by a formalistic conception of the words teaching, suggestion, and motivation, or by overemphasis on the importance of published articles and the explicit content of issued patents.” Id. at 419. Instead, the relevant inquiry is whether the Examiner has set forth “some articulated reasoning with some rational underpinning to support the legal conclusion of obviousness.” In re Kahn, 441 F.3d 977, 988 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (cited with approval in KSR, 550 U.S. at 418).