Federal Circuit Vacates And Remands PTAB’s Obviousness Finding Predicated On Incorrect Claim Construction
On August 12, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued an opinion vacating and remanding the obviousness finding of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). MTD Products Inc. v. Iancu, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Aug. 12, 2019). The CAFC ruled that the PTAB’s claim construction on which its obviousness finding was premised was incorrect because the construction conflated corresponding structure in the patent’s specification with a structural definition for the term, instead of construing the term as a means-plus-function term under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6.