Confidential Manual Deemed Not A Printed Publication, PTAB Litigation Blog

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In a recent decision, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board found that no claims challenged were unpatentable, after finding manuals relied upon as prior art did not qualify as “printed publications” under 35 U.S.C. § 311(b).  Weber, Inc. v. Provisur Technologies, Inc., IPR2020-01556, Paper 67 (March 31, 2022). The Patent Owner, Provisur, argued that Petitioner Weber’s manuals were not printed publications because they were maintained as confidential, and the manuals only had a limited distribution.  Concluding that Weber failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that its operating manuals constitute printed publications, the PTAB held that no challenged claims were unpatentable.

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