determining obviousness under 35 u s c 103 after ksr v teleflex l.
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Determining Obviousness Under 35 U.S.C. § 103 After KSR v. Teleflex. TC2800 Examples. Objectives. Overview of KSR Decision Review the Graham v. John Deere Inquiries For Obviousness. Review Examples of Rationales Suggested By KSR v. Teleflex . KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc.

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objectives
Objectives
  • Overview of KSR Decision
  • Review the Graham v. John Deere Inquiries For Obviousness.
  • Review Examples of Rationales Suggested By KSR v. Teleflex.
ksr international co v teleflex inc
KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc.
  • The Supreme Court reaffirmed Graham v. John Deere Co. as the controlling case on the topic of obviousness.
  • The Supreme Court stated that the Federal Circuit erred when it applied the well-known Teaching-Suggestion-Motivation (TSM) test in an overly rigid and formalistic way.
  • Supreme Court indicated that the TSM test is only one of a number of valid rationales that can be used to determine obviousness. It is not the only rationale that may be relied on to support obviousness.
factual inquiries of graham v john deere
Factual Inquiries OfGraham v. John Deere
  • What is the scope and content of the prior art?
  • What are the differences between the prior art and the claims at issue?
  • What is the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art at the time the invention was made?
  • Is there any objective evidence of non-obviousness in the record or that examiner is independently aware of ?
the examiner as fact finder
The Examiner As Fact Finder
  • Examiners act as fact finder when resolving the Graham inquiries.
  • Examiner must articulate findings as to the scope and content of the prior art as necessary to support the obviousness rejection being made.
  • Examiner must articulate a reason or rationale to support the obviousness rejection.
  • The rationale should be based on the state of the art and not impermissible hindsight, e.g. Applicant’s disclosure.
rationale examples
Rationale Examples

The following examples will demonstrate the appropriate fact findings to support rationales suggested in KSR and provide an explanation of how the rationales lead to a conclusion of obviousness under 35 USC 103.

a combining prior art elements according to known methods to yield predictable results

A. Combining Prior Art Elements According To Known Methods To Yield Predictable Results

We claim:

A hanging sound suppression device (10) comprising:

An earring (12);

A sound suppression device (14); and

A connector(16) coupled between said earring and said sound suppression device.

Adapted from Application No. 10/755,554

a combining prior art elements according to known methods to yield predictable results8

A. Combining Prior Art Elements According To Known Methods To Yield Predictable Results

Reference A teaches an ear plug connected to a pair of glasses, rather than an earring.

Reference B teaches a hearing aid assembly which may be inserted into the user's ear, and is connected to an earring.

a combining prior art elements according to known methods to yield predictable results9

A. Combining Prior Art Elements According To Known Methods To Yield Predictable Results

Applying This Rationale:

  • The prior art references teach all of the
  • claimed elements.
  • The difference between the prior art and the
  • claimed invention is using an earring rather than
  • eyeglasses for support of the sound suppression
  • device.
  • The combination of the known elements is achieved
  • by a known method of using an earring for support of
  • a sound modifying device.
a combining prior art elements according to known methods to yield predictable results10

A. Combining Prior Art Elements According To Known Methods To Yield Predictable Results

Applying This Rationale:

  • Since all the claimed elements would continue to
  • operate in the same manner, specifically the sound
  • suppression device would still dampen sound and the
  • earring would still provide support. Therefore, the
  • results would be predictable to one of ordinary skill in
  • the art.
  • As such, it would have been obvious to one of
  • ordinary skill in the art to support the sound
  • suppression device of Reference A with the earring of
  • Reference B as being no more "than the predictable
  • use of prior-art elements according to their
  • established functions."
b substitution of one known equivalent element for another to obtain predictable results

B. Substitution Of One Known Equivalent Element For Another To Obtain Predictable Results

Bump

We claim:

A semiconducting device (60) comprising:

A semiconducting die (10);

At least one bump (30) and

At least one bond wire (50) extending from said bump.

Adapted from Application No. 10/225,978

b substitution of one known equivalent element for another to obtain predictable results12

B. Substitution Of One Known Equivalent Element For Another To Obtain Predictable Results

Reference A discloses semiconducting device 20 that includes everything claimed except it uses conductive leads25 instead of bonding wire extending from bumps 11.

Reference B discloses A semiconducting thin film device on a substrate and uses bonding wires 21 extending from

bumps 15.

b substitution of one known equivalent element for another to obtain predictable results13

B. Substitution Of One Known Equivalent Element For Another To Obtain Predictable Results

Applying this rationale:

  • The prior art references teach all of the
  • claimed elements.
  • The difference between the prior art and the
  • claimed invention is using a conductive leads for electrical
  • connection rather than a bonding wire.
  • One of ordinary skill in the art would have
  • recognized that conductive leads and bonding wires
  • are known equivalents for providing electrical
  • connectivity to bumps within the semiconductor art.
b substitution of one known equivalent element for another to obtain predictable results14

B. Substitution Of One Known Equivalent Element For Another To Obtain Predictable Results

Applying this rationale:

  • It would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the
  • art to substitute one known element (bonding wires) for
  • another known equivalent element (conductive leads)
  • resulting in the predictable result of forming electrical
  • connectivity to bump.
c use of known techniques to improve similar devices in the same way

C. Use Of Known Techniques To Improve Similar Devices In The Same Way

Cholesteric Color Filter

Substrate

We claim:

A cholesteric color filter comprising:

A barrier coating formed on a cholesteric filter layer, said barrier layer preventing oxidation of the filter.

Liquid Crystal Layer

Barrier Coating

Cholesteric Filter

Layer

Substrate

Adapted from Application No. 10/191,445

c use of known techniques to improve similar devices in the same way16

C. Use Of Known Techniques To Improve Similar Devices In The Same Way

Reference A teaches a cholesteric color filter having a layer 200 of material having a cholesteric order and known to have a problem with oxidization.

Reference B teaches applying a barrier coating 78 to a color filter 86 to prevent oxidation of the color filter.

c use of known techniques to improve similar devices in the same way17

C. Use Of Known Techniques To Improve Similar Devices In The Same Way

Applying This Rationale:

  • The prior art references teach all of the claimed
  • elements.
  • The difference between the prior art and the claimed
  • invention is the use of a barrier coating to prevent
  • oxidation in a cholesteric color filter.
  • The prior art shows adding a barrier coating to a
  • color filter to prevent oxidation.
c use of known techniques to improve similar devices in the same way18

C. Use Of Known Techniques To Improve Similar Devices In The Same Way

Applying This Rationale:

  • One of ordinary skill in the art would have recognized
  • that the addition of the barrier coating would improve the
  • characteristics and performance of the claimed
  • (cholesteric) color filter by preventing oxidation of the
  • color filter.
  • It would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the
  • art to improve the cholesteric color filter using the known
  • technique of barrier coatings, to achieve the predictable
  • result of reduced oxidization in the color filter.
d use of known technique to a known device ready for improvement to yield predictable results

D. Use Of Known Technique To A Known Device Ready For Improvement To Yield Predictable Results

Ion Powered Platform

Conductive Probe

Electrical Load

We claim:

An ion powered platform,

comprising:

A vehicle body,

An electric load; and

An electrically conductive probe on said vehicle body for generating electrical energy from an ambient electrostatic field gradient.

Vehicle Body

Adapted from Application No. 10/121,226

d use of known technique to a known device ready for improvement to yield predictable results20

D. Use Of Known Technique To A Known Device Ready For Improvement To Yield Predictable Results

Reference A teaches a generator using Earth’s electrostatic field and meeting all the claimed elements, except for a vehicle body.

Reference B teaches a generator using Earth’s magnetic field having a long wire 307 on a vehicle body 301.

Magnetic

Field

Lines

d use of known technique to a known device ready for improvement to yield predictable results21

D. Use Of Known Technique To A Known Device Ready For Improvement To Yield Predictable Results

Applying This Rationale:

  • The prior art references teach all of the
  • claimed elements.
  • The difference between the prior art and the
  • claimed invention is that the conductive probe for
  • generating electrostatic energy is not on a vehicle
  • body, but it is fixed to the ground.
  • As would be recognized by one of ordinary skill in the
  • art, the length of the electrostatic probe fixed to the
  • ground would be limited in achievable length; whereas
  • a probe extended from a vehicle body is not
  • constrained by gravitation/physical limits. Therefore,
  • the probe can be made in greater lengths and thereby
  • generate more energy.
d use of known technique to a known device ready for improvement to yield predictable results22

D. Use Of Known Technique To A Known Device Ready For Improvement To Yield Predictable Results

Applying This Rationale:

  • One of ordinary skill in the art would have
  • recognized energy generation would be improved
  • placing the electrically conductive probe on a vehicle
  • body thereby increasing the achievable length.
  • It would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in
  • the art to use the known technique of supporting a
  • conductive probe on a vehicle body to improve the
  • known ion powered platform to achieve the predictable
  • result of increased probe length and thereby increased
  • energy generation.
e obvious to try choosing from a finite number of predictable solutions

E. “Obvious to Try” – Choosing From A Finite Number Of Predictable Solutions

Shielded Connector

We claim:

A shielded connector comprising:

A connector housing,

A mounting portion,

A tubular body;

Wherein the housing is made of a composite material having electrically conductive ceramic grains of Al-B-C.

Adapted from Application No. 10/095,112

e obvious to try choosing from a finite number of predictable solutions24

E. “Obvious to Try” – Choosing From A Finite Number Of Predictable Solutions

The admitted prior art teaches the claimedshielded connector except the prior art connector is made of aluminum instead ofa composite material having electrically conductive ceramic grains of Al-B-C.

Admitted Prior Art

e obvious to try choosing from a finite number of predictable solutions25

E. “Obvious to Try” – Choosing From A Finite Number Of Predictable Solutions

Prior Art Reference

A reference teaches a computer disc having a ceramic substrate for shielding including electrically conductiveceramic grains.

The reference further teaches a limited number (12) of ceramic grains that are electrically conductive and provides a list of these that includes Al-B-C.

Computer Disc

Substrate

e obvious to try choosing from a finite number of predictable solutions26

E. “Obvious To Try” – Choosing From A Finite Number Of Predictable Solutions

Applying This Rationale:

  • All of the claimed elements are evidenced as known in the
  • admitted prior art except for the specific type of ceramic
  • grain.
  • One of ordinary skill in the art would have recognized the
  • finite number of predictable solutions for electrically
  • conductive ceramic grains as evidenced by the prior art
  • reference.
  • Absent unexpected results, it would have been obvious to
  • try each of the twelve different electrically conductive
  • ceramic grains to yield a composite suitable for an
  • electrically conductive housing.
slide27

F. Known Work In One Field Of Endeavor May Prompt Variations Of It For Use In Either The Same Field Or A Different One Based On Design Incentives Or Other Market Forces If The Variations Would Have Been Predictable To One Of Ordinary Skill In The Art.

We claim:

A semiconducting device comprising:

A radiating plate;

A semiconductor chip bonded to the plate;

a side and a top both made of the same polyimide resin.

Adapted from Application No. 09/942,445

slide28

F. Known Work In One Field Of Endeavor May Prompt Variations Of It For Use In Either The Same Field Or A Different One Based On Design Incentives Or Other Market Forces If The Variations Would Have Been Predictable To One Of Ordinary Skill In The Art.

Reference A discloses:

A semiconductor device 10 having all the claimed elements except the sides 12 and top 11 are not both made of the same materials.

Semiconductor Device

Reference B discloses:

A chip inductor device having a housing 16 with both the top and sides being made of the same polyimide resin.

Chip Inductor Device

slide29

F. Known Work In One Field Of Endeavor May Prompt Variations Of It For Use In Either The Same Field Or A Different One Based On Design Incentives Or Other Market Forces If The Variations Would Have Been Predictable To One Of Ordinary Skill In The Art.

Applying This Rationale:

  • The prior art references teach all of the
  • claimed elements.
  • The difference between the prior art and the
  • claimed invention is the top and sides are not both
  • made of polyimide resin.
  • The prior art shows that it was known to form both the top
  • and sides of a housing for an electronic device of the
  • same material, specifically a polyimide resin.
slide30

F. Known Work In One Field Of Endeavor May Prompt Variations Of It For Use In Either The Same Field Or A Different One Based On Design Incentives Or Other Market Forces If The Variations Would Have Been Predictable To One Of Ordinary Skill In The Art.

Applying This Rationale:

  • One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that
  • forming both the top and sides of the same material would
  • streamline manufacturing and cut costs.
  • It would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the
  • art to implemented the claimed variation of making the
  • top and sides of the same material to save money/
  • streamline manufacturing. The operation of the device
  • would remain unchanged.
g tsm teaching suggestion motivation test
G. TSM: Teaching, Suggestion, Motivation Test
  • A finding that there was some teaching, suggestion, or motivation, either in the references themselves or in the knowledge generally available to one of ordinary skill in the art, to modify the reference or to combine reference teachings; and,
  • A finding that there was reasonable expectation of success.

Rationale: The claim would have been obvious because a person of ordinary skill in the art would have been motivated to combine the prior art to achieve the claimed invention and that there would have been a reasonable expectation of success.