In April, the US Supreme Court unanimously rejected a rigid test of "obviousness" in determining patent validity in the case KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. As a result, it becomes somewhat easier to invalidate a patent on the basis of "obviousness." Indeed, by early May the Supreme's decision was already impacting lower court decisions as the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a finding of obviousness in the case of Leapfrog v. Fisher-Price.
A lot has been written about KSR v Teleflex in the legal press and in legal blogs, but yesterday I came across a good summary for the non-lawyer. It's courtesy of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) which does research for congress.
Unfortunately, the CRS doesn't make their research available to the public in any convenient fashion. Luckily, the Center for Democracy and Technology provides open access (and an RSS feed) for those CSR reports that are in the public domain. It's quite a mix of, sometimes interesting, reports.
In this case, the CRS report is The Obviousness Standard in Patent Law: KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. by Brian T. Yeh, Legislative Attorney, American Law Division.