Q) Product-by-Process Claims (10.03.13p)

by admin on April 12, 2010 · 5 comments

in Exam Questions

Recent test takers report that question #13 from the October 2003 (PM) test is in the patent bar exam database.

13. On January 2, 2001, a registered practitioner filed a patent application with the USPTO for inventor Beck. The application includes a specification and a single claim to the invention which reads as follows:
1. Mixture Y made by the process Q1.
In the specification, Mr. Beck discloses that mixture Y has a melting point of 150° F. On June 2, 2001, the practitioner received an Office action from the primary examiner rejecting the claim. The claim is rejected under 35 USC 102/103 as being clearly anticipated by or obvious over Patent A. The examiner states “Patent A teaches mixture Y but made by a different process Q2.” Beck believes he is entitled to a patent to mixture Y. In accordance with the patent laws, rules and procedures as related in the MPEP, which of the following would be the best reply to the rejection of his claim?
(A) An argument that the claimed product has an unexpectedly low melting point of 150° F, supported by an affidavit showing that the mixture Y made by process Q2 exhibits a melting point of 300° F.
(B) An argument that the processes used by applicant and patent A are different, supported by a third-party declaration stating only that the processes are different.
(C) An argument that the claimed product has an unexpectedly low melting point of 150° F, supported by a third-party declaration stating only that the products are different.
(D) An argument that the processes used by applicant and patent A are different, supported by an affidavit showing that the mixture Y made by process Q2 exhibits a melting point of 300° F.
(E) An argument that the claimed product has an unexpectedly low melting point of 150° F because the claimed mixture Y has a melting point of 150° F and the mixture Y of patent A has a melting point of 300° F.

ANSWER: (A) is the most correct answer. MPEP § 2113, under the heading “Product-By-Process Claims Are Not Limited To The Manipulations Of The Recited Steps, Only The Structure Implied By The Steps,” states “’even though product-by-process claims are limited by and defined by the process, determination of patentability is based on the product itself. The patentability of a product does not depend on its method of production. If the product in the product-by-process claim is the same as or obvious from a product of the prior art, the claim is unpatentable even though the prior product was made by a different process.’ In re Thorpe, 777 F.2d 695, 698, 227 USPQ 964, 966 (Fed. Cir. 1985).” The issue is whether the claimed mixture Y is the same as or obvious over the patented mixture Y. MPEP § 2113, under the heading “Once A Product Appearing To Be Substantially Identical Is Found And A 35 U.S.C. 102/103 Rejection Made, The Burden Shifts To The Applicant To Show An Unobvious Difference,” states “[o]nce the examiner provides a rationale tending to show that the claimed product appears 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BeckerNo Gravatar May 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I got this question 5/16/2011.

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2 DavidNo Gravatar February 19, 2012 at 1:29 am

Had this Q on 2/10/2012

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3 AnnaNo Gravatar February 24, 2012 at 3:24 am

Got this on 02/04/2012

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4 GDBNo Gravatar April 20, 2012 at 12:43 am

Got this 04/19/12

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5 PayitforwardNo Gravatar March 8, 2014 at 12:12 am

Had this verbatim.

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