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2014 Pat. App. LEXIS 1715

Patent Trial and Appeal Board

                              March 21, 2014, Decided

Appeal 2011-011620; Application 10/656,687; Technology Center 2400

Opinion

                  JEFFERY, Administrative Patent Judge.

                  DECISION ON APPEAL

                  Appellant appeals under 35 U.S.C. § 134(a) from the Examiner's decision to reject claims 1, 3-15, 18, 19, 21-27, and 30-39. Claims 2, 16, 17, 20, 28, and 29 have been cancelled. We have jurisdiction under 35 U.S.C. § 6(b). We reverse.

                  STATEMENT OF THE CASE

                  Appellant's invention is a cable distribution box that includes an authentication device, electronic access control system, and lock that electronically unlocks the box when access to the box is granted. See generally Spec. PP 0004-07. Claim 1 is illustrative:

                  1. A cable distribution box, comprising:

                  an authentication device configured to obtain authentication information from an authentication medium;

                  an electronic access control system configured to be operatively connected to an access administration system over at least a portion of a cable  [*2]  network infrastructure, wherein the electronic access control system is configured to grant access to the cable distribution box upon receiving verification of the authentication information, and

                  a lock operatively connected to the electronic access control system, wherein the lock is configured to receive a signal from the electronic access control system to electronically unlock the cable distribution box when access to the cable distribution box is granted,

                  wherein the authentication device, the electronic access control system, and the lock are configured to be solely powered using current obtained from a coaxial cable line operatively connected to the cable distribution box.

                  THE REJECTIONS

                  The Examiner rejected claims 1, 3-7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 18, 30, 33, and 35-39 under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) as obvious over Wheeler (US 2004/0128508 A1; published July 1, 2004; PCT filed Aug. 6, 2001), Christatos (US 4,502,609; issued Mar. 5, 1985), Vitale (US 7,111,318 B2; issued Sept. 19, 2006; filed June 1, 2001), and Kamiya (US 6,785,908 B1; issued Aug. 31, 2004; filed Dec. 2, 1999). Ans. 4-17. 1                                                   

                  The Examiner rejected claims 19, 21-23, 25, and 26 under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) as obvious over Wheeler, Christatos, and Kamiya. Ans. 18-20.

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2014 Pat. App. LEXIS 1715 *

Ex parte JAMES ALFRED THOMPSON

Notice:

             [*1]             

               INFORMATIVE OPINION. PURSUANT TO THE PATENT TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE 2, THE OPINION BELOW HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN INFORMATIVE OPINION.

            

               This decision on appeal reverses the Examiner's obviousness rejection, noting that assessing whether a claimed invention would have been obvious requires considering objective evidence of non-obviousness, and weighing appropriately the prior art-based evidence in conjunction with the objective evidence.

         

CORE TERMS

cable, boxes, theft, has, deploy, invent, legacy, long-felt, was, electronic, control system, rejected claim, authenticate, wheeler, lock, unlock, solve, non-obviousness, persist, probative value, configure, secondary, weakness, unsolved, remote, skill, said