Tennant Homework 3: Examining Nonobviousness

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For this homework, I read Patents 2014451 and 2493811 which correspond to the Pfeifer patent and Graham's first plow patent.

Reasons supporting nonobviousness:

  • The fastening device involved in our patent was primarily used for fastening corrugated metal sheets together, not for use in a plow.
  • The fasteners in the Pfeifer patent were designed to prevent movement, not enable it.
  • The plow previously patented is designed to work the ground, but gives no thought to preventing damage to the plow by allowing an additional degree of freedom.
  • The plow, in combination with the previous patents, gives a new and useful plow which has not previously been created. Because these technologies have existed for some time, the combination must not be obvious.
  • The previous Graham patent is lacking features of the new patent which are critical to the new inventions function.

Reasons against nonobviousness:

  • The new combination of parts is not something that a mechanic with ordinary skill in the art could not conceive.
  • The new functions allowed by the differences in parts could also be achieved in other, obvious ways.
  • Some form of the functions of the new plow are exhibited by the former plow.
  • While some features and structures within the new patent are in a different configuration, the device shows no new function that has not been shown in prior art.