Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Robert Bosch, LLC v. Iancu

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

July 3, 2019, Decided

2017-2122, 2017-2124, 2017-2239, 2017-2241

Opinion

 [*873]  Lourie, Circuit Judge.

Robert Bosch, LLC appeals from four inter partes review decisions of the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the "Board") holding several claims of U.S. Patents 7,484,264 (the "'264 patent"), 6,944,905 (the "'905 patent"), 6,292,974 (the "'974 patent"), and 6,973,698 (the "'698 patent") unpatentable as obvious. Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Robert Bosch LLC, No. IPR2016-00040, 2017 Pat. App. LEXIS 5395 (P.T.A.B. Mar. 30, 2017) ("'264 Decision"); Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Robert Bosch LLC, No. IPR2016-00036, 2017 Pat. App. LEXIS 5394 (P.T.A.B. Apr. 24, 2017)  [**2]  ("'905 Decision"); Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Robert Bosch LLC, No. IPR2016-00038, 2017 Pat. App. LEXIS 3933 (P.T.A.B. Mar. 30, 2017) ("'974 Decision"); Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Robert Bosch LLC, No. IPR2016-00034, 2017 Pat. App. LEXIS 5393 (P.T.A.B. Apr. 24, 2017) ("'698 Decision"). For the reasons stated below, we reverse the Board's decision regarding the '264 patent and affirm the Board's three other decisions.

Background

Bosch owns the four patents at issue claiming beam windshield wiper blades, known simply as beam blades. For purposes of this appeal, beam blades have three main elements: (1) a rubber wiper strip which contacts the windshield; (2) a pre-curved, spring-elastic support element to distribute force along the wiper strip; and (3) a wiper arm, which moves the blade back and forth across the windshield. Beam blades have generally been known in the art for decades.

Although the patents at issue all relate to beam blades, the issues on appeal concern discrete limitations claimed in each patent, which we summarize as follows. Claim 3 of the '264 patent recites a beam blade with a "wind deflection strip," or spoiler, which is "designed as a binary component" and is mounted on the support element. '264 patent col. 8 ll. 17-18. Claim 13 [**3]  of the '905 patent is representative of that patent for purposes of this appeal and recites a support element with end caps at both ends. '905 patent col. 8 ll. 16-18. Claim 1 of the '974 patent recites a spoiler "mounted directly to the convex surface of [the] support element so as to form a leading-edge face extending in a longitudinal direction of the support element."'974 patent col. 4 ll. 26-29. Finally, claim 1 of the '698 patent recites that the contact force of the wiper strip on the windshield is greater in the center section than at the ends and that the support element has a concave curvature sharper in the center section than at the ends. '698 patent col. 6 ll. 14-22.

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

778 Fed. Appx. 871 *; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 19889 **; 2019 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 246795

ROBERT BOSCH, LLC, Appellant v. ANDREI IANCU, UNDER SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, Intervenor

Notice: THIS DECISION WAS ISSUED AS UNPUBLISHED OR NONPRECEDENTIAL AND MAY NOT BE CITED AS PRECEDENT. PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.

Prior History:  [**1] Appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. IPR2016-00034, IPR2016-00036, IPR2016-00038, IPR2016-00040.

Disposition: AFFIRMED-IN-PART, REVERSED-IN-PART.

CORE TERMS

blade, curvature, beam, wiper, patent, skilled, wind, spring, lift, taught, artisan, prior art, invention, secondary, spoiler, non-uniform, references, strip, caps, windshield, combine, notice, substantial evidence to support, decisions, argues, teach, load, recites, clamps, little weight

Business & Corporate Compliance, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Patent Law, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Substantial Evidence, Nonobviousness, Evidence, Fact & Law Issues, Administrative Law, Hearings, Official Notice, Evidence, Elements & Tests, Teaching Away From Invention