Monday, June 1, 2009

Patent Claiming Enclosure Weighing "Less Than Ten Pounds" was not Invalid for Failure to Enable a Weightless Enclosure

Patent claiming an enclosure weighing "less than ten pounds" did not require enablement of a weightless enclosure. "The question is not whether [the asserted claim] enables a weightless . . . system but, as the Federal Circuit suggests in [AK Steel Corp. v. Sollac, 344 F.3d 1234, 1244 (Fed. Cir. 2003)], whether the hypothetical person of ordinary skill in the art would be able to make an ultrasound system weighing between ten pounds and a reasonable lower limit. In this case, there is an inherent limit to the possible range: a weightless ultrasound machine is not within the reasonable range of possible embodiments. Although plaintiff argues that the inventors of the [asserted] patent should have been required to supply a lower limit, the enablement requirement is not this strict."

General Electric Co. v. Sonosite, Inc., 3-08-cv-00298
(WIWD May 26, 2009. Order) (Crabb, J.)

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