“A Common Sense Approach to Obviousness,” Rex W. Miller, II, Esq.

The Federal Circuit recently affirmed a district court decision invalidating the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,631,400. In Perfect Web Technologies, Inc. v. InfoUSA, Inc., the court relied upon common sense as endorsed by the Supreme Court in KSR to find that the asserted claims would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. The case provides a clear example of how common sense can be used effectively as part of the flexible approach to the obviousness inquiry, so long as the rationale used to combine or modify the prior art is sufficiently articulated for the technology involved.