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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BARLOW, JOSEPHS & HOLMES SECURES COMPLETE REVERSAL OF ALL PATENT CLAIM REJECTIONS AT THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT
Providence, RI June 29, 2016
Arguing before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., attorneys Stephen J. Holmes and Joshua A. Stockwell secured a complete reversal of all claim rejections for U.S. Patent No. 8,079,311, owned by LF Centennial Limited. The ‘311 patent describes and claims a modular furniture kit for supporting and mounting an LCD television in various configurations. The kits are popular items for apartments where renters cannot mount LCD televisions on the walls. The ruling is a major win for LF Centennial, who had asserted the ‘311 patent against several competitors in the Southern District of California. In defense of that litigation, one of the defendants, Bell’O International Corp., instituted an Inter Partes Reexamination of the ‘311 patent in an effort to invalidate all of the claims. The litigation was eventually settled, but the Reexamination continued on at the Patent Office.
In the Reexamination proceeding, the Examiner rejected claims 1–16 of the ’311 patent based on prior art. On a first appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, several of the rejections were reversed, giving LF Centennial a partial win. However, the Board maintained several rejections based on tenuous comparison of elements within the prior art. The Board adopted a reasoning that equated a “leg” or a “side panel” as disclosed in the prior art with a “spine” as recited in the claims, saying the two elements were the same.
On Appeal to the Federal Circuit, the Court found the Board’s reasoning “fallacious” because “it employs a version of the fallacy of the undistributed middle, under which the two statements, ‘a dog is a four-legged pet’ and ‘a cat is a four-legged pet,’ are asserted to give rise to the inference that a dog is a cat”, the court wrote. The Court further added “A common characteristic of a spine and a side panel does not allow a conclusion that one can be the other”. The cancelation of the claims is now reversed and the Patent will head back to the Patent Office to be reinstated.
The Case is In re LF Centennial Ltd., case number 2015-1931 before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, Alvin A. Schall and Richard G. Taranto sat on the Federal Circuit panel.
LF Centennial is represented by Barlow, Josephs & Holmes attorneys Stephen J. Holmes and Joshua A. Stockwell.
For more information on LF Centennial and the products involved, please visit the website of their subsidiary Whalen Furniture, Inc. at www.whalenfurniture.com.
For more information on Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd., please visit their website at www.barjos.com.
Stephen J. Holmes
Barlow, Josephs & Holmes, Ltd.
101 Dyer Street, 5th Floor
Providence, RI 02903