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Motivation for the Federal Circuit Test

John Knight, JD, MPA.1 School of Computing University of Utah

September 30, 2006

Early Decisions – 1850 to 1929 .................................................... 4

“Invention” Invented....................................................................................................... 4 The Problem of Hindsight............................................................................................... 6 Origin of the Teaching, Suggestion, or Motivation ........................................................ 8 Schism Between Administrative and Trial Law ........................................................... 10 Shift in Focus From Supreme Court to D.C. Circuit .................................................... 11 Hindsight Condemned .............................................................................................. 11 Explicit Use of the TSM Test ................................................................................... 14 Importance of Objective Indicia ............................................................................... 15

The CCPA – 1929 to 1982 .......................................................... 15

Important Traditions of the Court................................................................................. 15 “Failure” to Cite Precedent ........................................................................................... 16 “Cursory” Opinions ...................................................................................................... 16 “Insular” Jurisprudence................................................................................................. 17 Caselaw Development .................................................................................................. 17 Degree of Required Specificity................................................................................. 18 Underlying Search for a Cogent and Persuasive Rationale ...................................... 19 Hindsight Condemned (Again)................................................................................. 21 Identification of Relevant Relationships Between Invention Elements ................... 23 Importance of Context for Understanding Proper Application of the TSM Test ..... 24 Graham and the TSM Test ....................................................................................... 26

The Federal Circuit – 1982 to 2006 ........................................... 27 Conclusion ................................................................................... 34 The TSM Test Applied with Greater Rigor .................................................................. 27

1 John Knight is currently a M.S. candidate in the School of Computing. He can be contacted at johnk@cs.utah.edu. He wishes to acknowledge the tremendous support and guidance provided by Lee Hollaar, Professor of Computer Science.

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