• Nov 4 2019
  • |
  • Category: CAFC Updates

David Fought and Martin Clanton are the named inventors on U.S. Patent Application No. 13/507,528, filed on July 5, 2012 relating to the construction of travel trailers. The examiner rejected claims 1 and 2 under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b), and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed, concluding that the preamble term “travel trailer” is a mere statement of intended use that does not limit the claim. In the body of claim 1, the limitation reciting “the travel trailer” relies on the preamble’s recitation of “[a] travel trailer” for its antecedent basis. The CAFC notes that they have repeatedly held a preamble limiting when it serves as antecedent basis for a term appearing in the body of a claim. Based on extrinsic evidence, the CAFC concludes that a “travel trailer” is a specific type of recreational vehicle and that this term is a structural limitation of the claims. The CAFC notes that there is no dispute that if “travel trailer” is a limitation, the prior art, which disclose cargo trailers and shipping compartments, do not anticipate. Just as one would not confuse a house with a warehouse, no one would confuse a travel trailer with a truck trailer. Because the CAFC holds that the Board erred in concluding “travel trailer” does not limit the scope of the claims, they reverse and remand. 

View Decision