Tuesday, April 26, 2016

PTAB Grants Motion to Amend Vehicle Wheel Hanger Patent

The Board granted the patent owner's contingent motion to amend, granting entry of proposed claims 6-10 for original claims 1-5 which had been found unpatentable, because the proposed amended claims were patentable over the prior art of record. "[N]one of the tire/wheel hangers of either [U.S. patent '144], [U.S. patent '690], [U.S. patent '228], or [a European patent application publication] recognize the desire to reduce bending over while handling a heavy object, as required by the claimed method. Instead, they pertain, generally, to hanging a wheel somewhere on a wall or rail, but are silent as to where that somewhere might be, let alone a location conducive to avoiding back injury from lifting the wheel. This is not a matter of simply slapping a known wheel hanger on an automotive lift; rather, it is a matter of taking a known structure and utilizing it in a specific manner on a specific structure for a specific purpose.Thus, we are not persuaded that it would have been obvious to a skilled artisan to affix any one of the known wheel hangers of [the four references] to an automotive lift in the specific manner and for the specific purpose, as required by substitute claim 6."

Petition for Inter Partes Review by Shinn Fu Company of America, Inc., IPR2015-00208 (PTAB April 22, 2016, Order) (DeFranco, APJ)

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