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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
December 2, 2004, Decided
[***1142] [*1196] MICHEL, Circuit Judge.
Appellants Daniel Fulton and James Huang appeal from the decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences ("Board"), affirming the examiner's rejection of appellants' application for a utility patent on grounds that the invention claimed would have been obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a). The appeal was submitted for decision without oral argument on November 5, 2004. Because the Board's finding that the prior art suggested the desirability of the combination of shoe sole limitations claimed in appellants' patent application was supported [**2] by substantial evidence, we affirm.
On July 24, 1997, appellants filed application number 09/122,198 (the "'198 application") for a utility patent directed to a shoe sole with increased traction. Claim 1, the only independent claim at issue, reads:
An improved shoe sole for increasing the resistance to slip on a contact surface, the sole comprising a bottom surface and defining a perimeter bounding a forefoot portion corresponding to the forefoot of the shoe and a heel portion corresponding to the heel of the shoe, [*1197] wherein the sole extends generally along a fore-aft axis running from said heel portion to said forefoot portion, the sole further comprising a substantially regular tiling array of projections projecting from said bottom surface, said projections terminating in hexagonal shaped projected surfaces spaced from said bottom surface in a direction for making contact with the contact surface, said projections being oriented so that opposite edges of said projected surfaces face generally in the directions of said fore-aft axis, said projected surfaces being substantially flat and parallel to the bottom surface to maximize the area of contact with [**3] the contact surface, said projections being spaced from one another to define substantially continuous channels therebetween for conducting liquid, said channels being open over at least most of said perimeter, said forefoot portion and said heel portion of the sole.
'198 application, at 7 (emphases added).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
391 F.3d 1195 *; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 24815 **; 73 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1141 ***
IN RE DANIEL S. FULTON and JAMES HUANG
Prior History: [**1] Appealed from: United States Patent and Trademark Office Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. (Serial No. 09/122,198).
prior art, surface, orientation, hexagonal, projected, teach, patent, facing, bite, shoe, references, shaped, motivation, edges, combine, substantial evidence, invention, traction, studs, appellants', cylindrical, perimeter, suggests, artificial turf, ordinary skill, sharp edge, polygon
Patent Law, Nonobviousness, Elements & Tests, Claimed Invention as a Whole, Specifications, Enablement Requirement, General Overview, Ordinary Skill Standard, Prior Art, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, Substantial Evidence, Teaching Away From Invention, Evidence, Fact & Law Issues