BWC --- HW 2.3

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The patent is invalid because:

Using '811 as the primary evidence against the validity of the patent issue at hand ('798), it is clear that the improvement from '811 to '798 was an obvious one. While a plow is not meant to deal with rocks, the provision was made to allow for it to safely move over such obstacles as rocks. This was a rather innovative move. However, the invention had a few problems with it, namely it's lateral instability. It is clear that the next logical step would be to use the same clamp but with more lateral stability, and it is also clear that this can be accomplished by giving the shank added support, as Graham did. While the added support does warrant praise for the advancement it provides for in the art of plowing, it does not deserve the limited monopoly that comes along with a patent.

The patent is valid because:

Once again using the '811 patent as the primary evidence, it is clear that the improvement from '811 to '798 was not obvious at the time of the invention. Perhaps the fishtailing described was not perceived as a disadvantage to some farmers, and thus the improvement would not have been on the top of their minds. With that thought in mind, one cannot decisively argue that the added lateral support was an obvious improvement. Perhaps the mechanism itself could not structurally support the additional material and needed to be tweaked, such as Graham did.

  • In both of the above responses, the Pfeifer patent was not really considered as the relevance to the '798 patent was no where near as significant as the relevance between the '811 and the '798 patent was.