Divergent Technical Teachings of a Primary Reference Matter in an Obviousness Analysis
A popular counter-argument to an obviousness attack is that the primary reference of the combination “teaches away” from the proposed combination. That is, if reference (A) is proposed to be modified by the teachings of reference (B) in some manner, and reference (A) criticizes, discredits or discourages that manner of combination, then reference (A) is said to “teach away” from the combination — thus, precluding an obviousness determination on that proposed combination.
In practice however, it is a rare reference that includes a technical explanation that is so strongly worded to satisfy the teaching away standard. Yet, as the Federal Circuit made clear this week, less pronounced evidence of divergent technical teachings cannot be disregarded by the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB).
Continue Reading CAFC Teaches Away on Teaching Away