By: Mel R. Quintos
In the precedential case of In re: Kenneth Andrew Hodges, decided on February 12, 2018, the U.S. PTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) affirmed the Examiner’s rejections of certain claims as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. §102 based on two prior art references (namely, Rasmussen or Frantz). Discusssed below are the reasons why the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) reversed the Board’s anticipation determinations.
The patent application at issue is entitled “System and Method for Operating a Drain Valve” and is directed to a valve assembly for draining contaminants, condensation, and other fluids that adversely affect the efficiency and function of a pressurized system. The claims at issue on appeal stand or fall with independent claim 1, which recites (in pertinent part) as follows: —click here to read more—