KSR v. Teleflex

KSR v. Teleflex

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KSR v. Teleflex

Teleflex acted as the plaintiff and KSR as the defendant in the 2007 case involving patent infringement. Teleflex believed KSR's use of a vehicle control pedal connected to an electronic throttle control was an infringement on a patent held by the plaintiff. The District Court ruled in favor of the defendant claiming the use was obvious, but the Federal Court reversed the decision. The case went to the Supreme Court, which in turn reversed the decision back to the District Court’s decision and ruled in favor of the defendant.

Case Description

The defendant combined an adjustable control pedal to an electronic throttle control in automobiles. The plaintiff claimed this was infringing on a patent claim they owned. The defense’s argument was a simple argument that is used in many patent infringement cases. They argued the combining of the two elements in the case was an obvious adjustment made to the existing patent. The obviousness of the combination would have been realized by anyone familiar with the art. The plaintiff did not feel there was a level of obviousness attached to the combination performed by the defendant.

Ruling

The Supreme Court was clear in its ruling that the combining of the two elements in the automobile was obvious. The Supreme Court noted that the Federal Court was incorrect in determining that combining the two elements discussed in the case were not obvious and someone familiar and skilled in the art would not naturally combine the pedal and the electronic throttle. The Supreme Court went as far as to say the combination was common sense. The KSR decision is now used in almost 60% of similar cases. Many feel there are too many instances that are declared obvious but obviousness will only apply to those who are familiar with the art discussed in each individual case.

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