CHEMOURS CO. v. DAIKIN INDUS., LTD.

CHEMOURS CO. v. DAIKIN INDUS., LTD., Appeal No. 20-1289, 20-1290 (Fed. Cir. July 22, 2021).  Before Newman, Dyk, and Reyna.  Appealed from the PTAB. (Obviousness)

Background:

In an inter partes review, Daikin challenged Chemours’s patents directed to specific types of polymers.  The polymers were defined by their high melt flow rate (30±3 g /10 min), which allowed the polymers to be extruded as coatings onto wires at high speeds while still producing high quality coatings.

The Board found that all the challenged claims were obvious in view of a U.S. patent that described a polymer for wire coatings that can be processed at higher speeds.  The polymer was characterized by a very narrow molecular weight range, which was counter to the conventional belief that broader molecular weight ranges were required for high-speed extrusion applications. The reference described that its polymers had melt flow rates of 15 g/10 min or greater, but only exemplified a melt flow rate of 24 g/10 min.  Nevertheless, the Board found that it would have been obvious to have increased the melt flow rate of the reference’s sample to within the claimed range (even if doing so would broaden the molecular weight range) in order to achieve higher processing speeds.

Chemours appealed.

Issue/Holding:

Did the Board err in finding that the claims were obvious? (continue reading)

Summary by:  Molly Chen

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