The court affirmed the PTO’s finding that claims of a pending patent application are unpatentable due to obviousness over the combination of a reference to Gross in view of another reference to Wong. The claims at issue related to a method for making an enzymatic hydrolysate of a soy fiber. The PTO held that, although the Gross reference teaches a longer reaction time than that of the claims, one skilled in the art seeking to produce soy fiber with improved palatability and high fiber content would have relied on Wong to modify the Gross process to use a shorter reaction time to achieve a lower degree of hydrolysis. The Federal Circuit held that substantial evidence supports the Board’s finding that a person of ordinary skill would have been motivated to modify the Gross process by using a shorter reaction time in order to obtain the favorable properties disclosed in Wong.
In re: Urbanski, Case No. 2015-1272 (January 8, 2016); Opinion by: Lourie, joined by Bryson and Chen; Appealed From: United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Read the full opinion here.