Printing Plate Patent Application Rejection Affirmed by Fed. Cir.

Written August 14, 2020

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on August 11, 2020, affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) obviousness rejection of an application for a patent on a durable printing plate. In re Kross, Fed. Cir., No. 20-1056, unpublished 8/11/20.

Robert D. Kross argued his non-gelatin printing plates are a reusable, cleanable alternative to typical plates and don’t require a press. The invention overcomes the problems of “cracking, splitting and just plain falling apart,” which are inherent in printing plates made of gelatin, he said.

The patent examiner rejected parts of the application as obvious over combinations of five other inventions and the PTAB affirmed. On appeal the Federal Circuit rejected Kross’ argument, stating that a person of ordinary skill in the art could have combined the known inventions to reach the same conclusion.