Failures of “prior art” undermine obviousness challenge to patent
Abstract: “Prior art” can make a patent obvious and therefore unpatentable. But what about previous research that fails? Does it defeat a patent for an invention that succeeded? This article reviews a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which found that where the prior art shows only failures to achieve what the inventor accomplished, the court couldn’t find an expectation of success based on that prior art. University of Strathclyde v. Clear-Vu Lighting, LLC, No. 20-2243 (Fed Cir. Nov. 4, 2021).