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Obviousness: Known Solutions from different Fields of Art


In re Robert Kross (Fed. Cir. 2020)

In this quick determination, the Federal Circuit has affirmed the PTAB’s dedication that Kross’s claimed invention would have been apparent. Apn. No. 13/275,400. (Real party-in-interest right here is Poly-Gel L.L.C.).

The invention: A way of printing utilizing “non-gelatin viscoelastic gel printing plates.” The gel used right here is designed to unravel cracking issues that have been “a hallmark of gelatin plates.”  The claimed viscoelastic gel was already identified within the artwork for its non-cracking properties. In its determination, the Board concluded that PHOSITA would have been motivated to unravel the identified cracking downside through the use of “known properties of a known material.”

The problem on this case includes the claimed viscoelastic gel. The prior artwork (Chen) discloses the gel and its non-cracking and ease-of-manufacture properties.  However, Chen solely describes this exterior of the printing context. On enchantment, the Federal Circuit affirmed that PHOSITA would have been motivated to make use of Chen’s disclosure:

 [T]he proven fact that Chen doesn’t educate the usage of viscoelastic compositions in any kind of printing doesn’t undermine the Board’s discovering of a motivation to mix. We agree with the Board that Chen’s silence “as to a particular application is of little or no moment given the teachings of the properties and the resulting general uses of the viscoelastic gel-like materials, which would have suggested those materials as, more likely than not, a successful solution to the problems of gelatin cracking and splitting.”

Slip Op. (Quoting PTAB dedication).  Here, the Federal Circuit was guided its studying of the prior artwork — which recognized the actual problematic parameters (cracking, splitting) to be addressed. That steerage from this prior artwork introduced this case exterior of the “obvious to try” world and into certainly one of “reasonable expectation of success.”  I’ll notice right here that the court docket was guided by its studying of the prior artwork — it seems that there are numerous many issues with gel-based printing acknowledged within the prior artwork. The court docket disregarded how these further issues might need guided PHOSITA off of the neat invention pathway supplied by the opinion right here.


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