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The court affirmed the PTAB’s holding in an ex parte reexamination that six claims added during reexamination were not patentable for being obvious over the prior art.  The claims were related to light-emission devices using LED technology together with the down-converting (from ultra-violet or blue light to longer wavelength light) of the light using “luminophoric materials.”  The down-converting of light using such materials was well-known, and has been in use for years in fluorescent lighting. 

The court held that the prior art could have been combined to arrive at the claims, that there was a sufficient, non-hindsight reason to combine the references, and the secondary considerations were insufficient to overcome the prima facie showing of obviousness. 

In re: Cree, Inc., Case No. 2015-1365 (March 21, 2016); Opinion by: Bryson, joined by Chen and Clevenger; Appealed From: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Read the full opinion here.

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