CAFC affirms PTAB in Classco v. Apple: We find that those contentions do not show that the Board’s approach is inconsistent with KSR .
From the decision:
Contrary to ClassCo’s argument, KSR does not require
that a combination only unite old elements without
changing their respective functions. KSR, 550 U.S. at
416. Instead, KSR teaches that “[a] person of ordinary
skill is also a person of ordinary creativity, not an automaton.”
Id. at 421. And it explains that the ordinary
artisan recognizes “that familiar items may have obvious
uses beyond their primary purposes, and in many cases a
person of ordinary skill will be able to fit the teachings of
multiple patents together like pieces of a puzzle.” Id. at
420. The rationale of KSR does not support ClassCo’s
theory that a person of ordinary skill can only perform
combinations of a puzzle element A with a perfectly
fitting puzzle element B. To the contrary, KSR instructs
that the obviousness inquiry requires a flexible approach.
Id. at 415. Here, the Board faithfully applied this flexible
approach to find that the combination of Fujioka and
Gulick “would have resulted in no more than [a] predictable
result.” J.A. 6.