Fed. Cir. Says PTAB Erred in Rejecting ‘Travel Trailer’ Patent

Written November 7, 2019

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on November 4, 2019, found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) erred when it concluded that a “travel trailer” was unpatentable because it was anticipated by two cargo truck trailer patents. In re Fought, Fed. Cir., No. 2019-1127, 11/4/19.

David Fought and Martin Clanton’s patent application for a “travel trailer” with “two compartments, a living quarters and a garage portion, separated by a wall assembly,” was rejected by a US patent examiner.

The examiner said the invention was anticipated by two patents covering features of conventional truck trailers, and the PTAB affirmed.

The Federal Circuit, reversing and remanding, said that the term “travel trailer” in the patent’s preamble was a structural limitation which narrowed the scope of the invention, distinguishing it from shipping trailers.

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