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Archived updates for Thursday, January 20, 2005

No Obviousness without Motivation to Combine References

U.S. Patent No. 5,589,984

1. A mirror assembly, comprising:

(a) a mirror lens having a reflective outer surface and a non-reflective rear surface, the mirror lens comprising a mirror body which terminates in an oval perimetral edge, the edge surrounds the reflective surface and the non-reflective surface of the
mirror lens, the mirror body being a substantially convex ellipsoid
having a major axis and a minor axis which intersects with the major axis, the major axis having a varying radius of curvature
, which radius
decreases from the intersection with the minor axis to the perimetral edge.

In Rosco v. Mirror Lite (Fed. Cir. January 19, 2005; not citable as precedent), Rosco alleged that various prior art oval mirrors with a constant radius of curvature in combination with any number of non-oval prior art mirrors having a decreasing radius of curvature rendered claims 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 of the ’984 patent obvious. However, Rosco pointed to no specific evidence of motivation to combine. The Federal Circuit concluded that

In the absence of such evidence, Rosco has not carried its burden of establishing obviousness by clear and convincing evidence. . . . The decision of the district court is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings solely on the issue of infringement, the determination of which should be made on the existing trial record.
Good Luck with the Request for Reexamination, Rosco . . . .
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