Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Obviousness rejection affirmed in Ex parte Husemann

Within Ex parte Husemann , involving a claim directed to

A pressure-sensitive adhesive tape

the Board affirmed the examiner on contested issues as to a (redundant) claim element and as to unexpected results.

From within the decision

The Examiner concludes that it would have been obvious to have used the transparent pressure sensitive adhesive of Kishioka on the tape of Miyano to protect the colored pressure-sensitive adhesive layer. Id. at 5. The Examiner further explains his position by reiterating the finding made in the Final Office Action that it was known in the prior art (as evidenced by Ho used as a teaching reference) to use a transparent layer over a colored layer to provide it with mar resistance.1 Therefore, it is the Examiner’s position that one would have used a transparent layer, including a transparent PSA layer, over the colored adhesive layer in Miyano, to protect it from marring. Id. at 7.

Appellants argue that the use of a transparent PSA over the black PSA layer of Miyano is redundant. That is, Appellants argue that there is nothing gained by providing a further transparent layer, except to protect the black PSA that is, itself, already a protective layer. Br. 9. Reply Br. 1-3. However, this line of argument is unpersuasive because it does not address the Examiner’s position (as discussed, supra) that it would have been obvious to protect the black PSA layer from marring by covering it with a transparent PSA.

As to unexpected results:

Appellants then refer to pages 25-29 of their Specification and state that the data therein shows, unexpectedly, the complete absence of pinholes and good light-absorbing and light-reflecting properties. Appellants argue that the applied art does not teach such advantages. Br. 10. We agree with the Examiner that this data is not convincing of unobviousness for the reasons stated by the Examiner on page 9 of the Answer.

The appellant was represented by Norris, McGlaughlin.


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