Unpacking the Importance of the Claimed Invention from Other Commercial Components
Objective indicia of non-obviousness, such as commercial success and industry praise, can be probative evidence of non-obviousness. In order for the objective evidence of secondary considerations to be afforded substantial weight, however, the patentee must establish a nexus between the evidence and the merits of the claimed invention. A presumption of nexus can be established if the patentee shows that the evidence is tied to a specific product that embodies the claimed invention.
Of course, the challenger can rebut the presumption of nexus by showing that the commercial success or industry praise is due to features other than the claimed invention. But, this rebuttal may not be so straightforward where the claimed invention is a tool of a multi-tool package. In this instance, the inventive component must be weighed, regardless of the popularity/success of other components.
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