By: William G. Kratz Jr.
In the recent decision of In re Douglas J. Shoner, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the decision of the PTO Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences rejection of all claims of Shoner’s application as obvious under 35 U.S.C. §103(a).
In the appeal, Shoner argued that the cited reference, Yoshida (U.S. Patent No. 6,116,308) does not teach a requirement ofhis claims, that an air chamber “is sealed separately from the rest ofthe tire cavity.” The Patent Office, however, argued that Shoner’s claims are not limited to the structure argued, and that the PTO is required to give claims the broadest interpretation as it would be improper to read the applicant’s arguments into the claims. The CAFC agreed.
Along with other structural components, Claim 1, required “… (b) an air chamber for said interior of said pneumatic tire is subsequently sealed and pressurized… .” The Court agreed that the Shoner specification describes an invention where a sealed chamber is structurally supported from the rest of the cavity. Claim 1, however, does not limit the invention to one in which the air chamber is separately sealed, but requires only that the air chamber be “sealed and pressurized.”–click here to read more—