In re Steed stems from inventors’ attempts to represent themselves before a patent examiner, the patent office board of appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit). While the inventors put forth a valiant effort, their attempt to make use of a complex patent office procedure fell flat because both their arguments and their evidence were insufficiently crisp and clear.
What This Means to You
- “Swearing behind” a reference can be a great tactic in patent prosecution to prevent problematic references from being considered by an examiner.
- Ensure your arguments and evidence are clearly tied to the claims under consideration.
- This tactic can only be used under the “old,” pre-AIA statutes, for patent applications filed before March 2013.