from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent
Trial and Appeal Board in No. 14/632, 238.
A. Angileri, Brooks Kushman PC, Southfield, MI, argued for
appellant. Also represented by Robert C.J. Tuttle.
Caprihan, Office of the Solicitor, United States Patent and
Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA, argued for appellee Andrei
Iancu. Also represented by Thomas W. Krause, Sarah E. Craven.
Moore, Reyna, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.
IP Holdings, LLC appeals the Patent Trial and Appeal
Board's decision affirming the examiner's rejection
of its reissue claims for failure to comply with the written
description requirement. Because the legal standard applied
by the Board conflicts with our precedent, we vacate the
Board's decision and remand for further proceedings
consistent with this opinion.
owns U.S. Patent No. 8, 690, 233, which claims carpeted
automotive vehicle load floors having sandwich-type composite
panels with cellular cores. In one embodiment, the load floor
refers to the back-side of a car seat, which operates as the
trunk floor when folded down. See '233 patent,
Fig. 5. Figure 6 of the '233 patent shows the composition
of the claimed load floor:
specification discloses that hinged panel 10 is typically
manufactured from a stack of material including "first
and second reinforced thermoplastic skins 16 and 18,
respectively, a thermoplastic cellular core 20 disposed
between the skins 16 and 18 and a top layer of a
substantially continuous covering layer generally indicated
at 21." Id. at col. 411. 35-42.
filed a reissue application, seeking to broaden its claims in
the '233 patent. In particular, it replaced the term
"thermoplastic" with "plastic" in
independent claims 1, 14, and 17. Global's reissue claim
1 is representative and reproduced below, with strikeouts
indicating the deletions made to the original claim:
carpeted automotive vehicle load floor comprising:
a composite panel having first and second reinforced
thermoplastic skins and a
thermoplastic cellular core disposed
between and bonded to the skins, the ...