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Archived updates for Friday, October 12, 2007

A Key Point on Obviousess from "The Love Slides"

Thanks to Hal Wegner for circulating the "Love Slides" from a presentation by UPTO Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy official John Love covering the Examination Guidelines for Determining Obviousness Under 35 U.S.C. § 103. According to one of the "Key Points" slides:

Prior art is not limited to the four corners of the documentary prior art being applied.

• Prior art includes both the specialized understanding of one of
ordinary skill in the art, and the common understanding of the layman.
• It includes "background knowledge possessed by a person having ordinary skill in
the art. . . . [A] court can take account of the inferences and creative steps
that a person of ordinary skill in the art would employ." KSRat 1396.

Examiners may rely on, for example, official notice, common sense, and design choice.

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