A ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the patent of a company against challenges lodged by another business. The Federal Circuit hears appeals from cases decided by the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
In this case, the Board took on the case after the other business legally challenged the grant of three related patents to the company.
The other business had claimed that the inventor’s supposedly new technology, which would allow internet uses to look at web content without a browser and without having to take extra steps like developing what was described as a “client custom application”.
The other business argued that the new technology should not have been approved in light of prior art.
In the world of patent litigation, prior art refers to documents and other information which, when reviewing it, would help a patent examiner decide whether the concept being patented truly is new to the market and is not an obvious next step to developing existing technology.
Ultimately, both the Board and the Court rejected the other business’s argument and upheld the patent.
Novelty and obviousness are common questions in patent litigation
Litigation over the propriety of granting a patent arises in two contexts. Sometimes, an examiner may deny a patent application either because the idea is either not a new one or is technically new but not really innovative or creative.
In other cases, a third party, a potential competitor for example, may challenge the grant of a patent on the same basis.
Whether an idea truly qualifies for a patent is fact-specific question which will require both knowledge of the law and an ability to understand the new technology. An inventor who is facing a challenge to a patent will want to understand his or her legal options.