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