Metso Minerals Industries Inc., et. al. v. Astec Industries Inc., et. al., 2-10-cv-00951 (WIED December 4, 2012, Order) (Adelman, J.).
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Separating Single Component into Two Components That Perform Same Function is “Generally Obvious”
The court granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment that defendant's conical crusher patent was invalid as obvious. "[T]he only question is whether separating the seal and piston into two unattached parts would have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art. To ask that question is almost to answer it: it is generally obvious to separate a single component into two components that together perform the same function as the single component. . . . JCI’s decision to put a 'seal portion' between the hydraulic fluid and the 'piston,' as in claims 9 and 10, did not result in a unobvious modification of the prior art."