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In re Fought

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

November 4, 2019, Decided



 [*1176]  Moore, Circuit Judge.

David Fought and Martin Clanton (collectively, Appellants) are the named inventors on U.S. Patent Application No. 13/507,528, filed on July 5, 2012. The examiner rejected claims 1 and 2 under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b), and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed. Ex Parte Fought & Clanton, No. 2017-000315, 2018 Pat. App. LEXIS 7020, 2018 WL 4458741 (P.T.A.B. Aug. 28, 2018) (Board  [*1177]  Decision). Because we hold the Board erred in concluding "travel trailer" does not limit the scope of the claims, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


The '528 application relates to the construction of travel trailers. The specification describes a preferred embodiment of the trailer having two compartments, a living quarters and a garage portion, separated by a wall assembly. The application includes two claims: [**2] 

1. A travel trailer having a first and second compartment therein separated by a wall assembly which is movable so as to alter the relative dimensions of the first and second compartments without altering the exterior appearance of the travel trailer.

2. A travel trailer having a front wall, rear wall, and two side walls with a first and a second compartment therein, those compartments being separated by a wall assembly, the wall assembly having a forward wall and at least one side member,

the side member being located adjacent to and movable in parallel with respect to a side wall of the trailer, and

the wall assembly being moved along the longitudinal length of the trailer by drive means positioned between the side member and the side wall.

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941 F.3d 1175 *; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32876 **; 2019 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 422062; 2019 WL 5687699


Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. 13/507,528.



travel trailer, preamble, ordinary skill, recreational vehicle, compartments, intended use, trailer, extrinsic evidence, assembly

Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Substantial Evidence, Infringement Actions, Claim Interpretation, Claims, Claim Parts, Preambles