Thursday, September 20, 2012

BPAI affirms obviousness in Ex parte Diez

From the BPAI decision in Ex parte Diez :

“The test for obviousness is not whether the features of a secondary reference may be bodily incorporated into the structure of the primary reference . . . . Rather, the test is what the combined teachings of those references would have suggested to those of ordinary skill in the art.” In re Keller, 642 F.2d 413, 425 (CCPA 1981). See also In re Sneed, 710 F.2d 1544, 1550 (Fed. Cir. 1983) (“[I]t is not necessary that the inventions of the references be physically combinable to render obvious the invention under review.”); In re Nievelt, 482 F.2d 965, 968 (CCPA 1973) (“Combining the teachings of references does not involve an ability to combine their specific structures.”) Rather, “if a technique has been used to improve one device, and a person of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that it would improve similar devices in the same way, using the technique is obvious unless its actual application is beyond his or her skill.” KSR at 417.

Here, a person of ordinary skill in the art would recognize how to use the teaching of Bonny to improve the device of Hayashi in a similar way and the actual application would not be beyond his or her skill.


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