• Aug 27 2018
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

This is an appeal from a rejection in initial examination of Maatita’s design patent application for the design of an athletic shoe bottom. The examiner rejected the application’s single claim as non-enabled and indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112 because it used a single, two-dimensional plan-view drawing to disclose a shoe bottom design and thereby left the design open to multiple interpretations regarding the depth and contour of the claimed elements. The PTAB affirmed the examiner’s rejection. Finding that a design patent is indefinite under § 112 if one skilled in the art, viewing the design as would an ordinary observer, would not understand the scope of the design with reasonable certainty based on the claim and visual disclosure, the CAFC concludes that the Board misapplied § 112 in the design patent context, and reverses.


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