On Monday, April 30, 2007, the Supreme Court issued a decision in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. that may (1) make it more difficult to obtain a patent, and (2) make it easier to invalidate an issued patent claim as being obvious. This decision may cause patent examiners to issue more rejections to patent application claims and may create a more difficult task for patent attorneys to counter such rejections. It remains to be seen how significantly this decision will affect patent applicants.
Likewise, new consideration may also be warranted in assessing the validity of existing patents. Some commentators believe that patents may now be more susceptible to being found invalid by a judge or jury should those patents be litigated.
Over the next few months, we expect new Patent Office standards to be created and new federal court case law to be made as a result of this Supreme Court decision. Michael Best & Friedrich will, as always, keep abreast of the latest developments.
For more information, please contact David L. De Bruin at 414.271.6560, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Richard L. Kaiser at 262.956.6560, or email@example.com.