United States: Sales Catalog From Dealer Trade Show Qualifies As Printed Publication

Petitioners in Inter Partes Review proceedings have looked beyond typical patent and scientific literature to find a "printed publication" that might invalidate a patent. This has given the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board ( PTAB) and Federal Circuit an opportunity to explain and further define that category of prior art. GoPro, Inc. v. Contour IP Holding LLC is the latest Federal Circuit decision in this category. There, the court reversed the PTAB and found that a sports video camera sales catalog distributed at an action sports vehicle dealer trade show qualified as a "printed publication" under 35 USC § 102.

The Patents At Issue

GoPro petitioned for Inter Partes Review of two Contour patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 8,890,954 and 8,896,694) directed to "action sport video cameras" that are "configured for remote image acquisition control and viewing." The PTAB's Institution Decision found that "a person of ordinary skill in the art would have had at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or a similar discipline, and some experience creating, programming, or working with digital video cameras, such as point of view ("POV") action sports video cameras."

GoPro cited one of its own sales catalogs as a primary reference. The catalog had been distributed at a dealer trade show put on by a trade organization said to be "focused on action sports vehicles as well as related apparel, parts, and accessories." GoPro submitted a declaration providing testimony that "at the 2009 [trade] show, there were approximately 150 vendors and more than 1,000 attendees, including actual and potential dealers, retailers, and customers of portable POV video cameras." The declaration included testimony that the GoPro Catalog was actually distributed to attendees, and also was "available to GoPro's actual and potential customers, dealers, and retailers through its website, direct mail, and other means of distribution" after the trade show."

The PTAB Decision

The PTAB's Final Written Decision found that GoPro had not demonstrated that the challenged claims were unpatentable, because it had not demonstrated that the GoPro Catalog qualified as a printed publication.

Contour had challenged the qualifications of the GoPro Catalog in its Patent Owner Response, citing evidence that the trade show was not open to the general public. The PTAB was convinced by that argument.

Specifically, the PTAB found that a person of ordinary skill in the art "would not be interested in the dealer show because it was not an academic conference or camera industry conference, but rather a dealer show for action sports vehicles like motorcycles, motorbikes, ATVs, snowmobiles, and watercraft." Thus, the PTAB determined that the catalog did not qualify as a printed publication, because "GoPro had not met its burden to show that the GoPro Catalog was disseminated or otherwise made available to the extent that persons interested and ordinarily skilled in the subject matter or art and exercising reasonable diligence could have located it."

The Federal Circuit Decision

The Federal Circuit decision was authored by Judge Reyna and joined by Judges Wallach and Hughes.

The court determined that the PTAB had applied the "printed publication" requirement for "accessibility" too narrowly. The PTAB had focused on the expertise of the target audience of the trade show, but the court emphasized that is only one factor to be considered:

[O]ur case law directs us to also consider the nature of the conference or meeting; whether there are restrictions on public disclosure of the information; expectations of confidentiality; and expectations of sharing the information.

With regard to trade shows in particular, the court noted:

Trade shows are not unlike conferences—a trade show is directed to individuals interested in the commercial and developmental aspects of products.

Turning to the facts before it, the court found:

  • The fact that the dealer trade show was focused on action sports vehicles is not determinative, especially since the patents indicate that "a primary purpose of POV cameras is for use on vehicles in extreme action environments," such as the ones promoted at the trade show.
  • Although the trade show was only open to dealers, "it is more likely than not that persons ordinarily skilled and interested in POV a cameras were in attendance or at least knew about the trade show and expected to find action sports cameras at the show."
  • "[T]he GoPro Catalog was disseminated with no restrictions and was intended to reach the general public."

The court concluded that the relevant audience of persons ordinarily skilled and interested in POV action cameras "exercising reasonable diligence, should have been aware of the show," such that the GoPro Catalog satisfied the legal standard for public accessibility.

The court thus found that GoPro indeed had "met its burden to show that its catalog is a printed publication under § 102(b)," and remanded to the PTAB to consider GoPro's obviousness claims on the merits.

Questions Raised By The GoPro Decision

The GoPro decision raises at least two questions. First, do USPTO examiners conduct the type of searches that might identify sales catalogs distributed at trade shows years before an application was filed, or is this type of prior art only going to be identified by competitors? Second, did the Federal Circuit make new findings of fact as to the trade show audience in reaching its decision?

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions