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In re Giannelli

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

January 13, 2014

In re Raymond GIANNELLI.

Michael Lawrence Oliverio, Novak, Druce, Connolly, Bove & Quigg, LLP, of Boston, Massachusetts, argued for appellant.

Jeremiah S. Helm, Associate Solicitor, United States Patent and Trademark Office, of Alexandria, Virginia, argued for appellee. With him on the brief were Nathan K. Kelley, Deputy Solicitor, and Amy J. Nelson, Associate Solicitor.

Page 1376

Before RADER, Chief Judge, Lourie and Moore, Circuit Judges.

LOURIE, Circuit Judge.

Raymond Giannelli ("Giannelli" ) appeals from the decision of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (" PTO" ) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (" the Board" ) affirming the rejection of claims 1-25 of U.S. Patent Application 10/378,261 (Mar. 3, 2003) (the " '261 application" ) under 35 U.S.C. ยง 103(a)[1] as obvious over U.S. Patent 5,997,447 (the " '447 patent" ). Ex parte Giannelli, No. 2010-007582, slip op. at 5, 2012 WL 5451497 (P.T.A.B. Oct. 29, 2012) (" Board Decision" ). Because the Board erred in concluding that the claims of the '261 application would have been obvious in view of the '447 patent, we reverse.

BACKGROUND

Giannelli filed the '261 application, entitled " Rowing Machine," in March 2003. The '261 application discloses an exercise machine on which a user can perform a rowing motion against a selected resistance, thereby strengthening the back muscles. '261 application, at 2-3.

Claim 1, as amended, is representative of the claims on appeal and reads as follows:

1. A row exercise machine comprising an input assembly including a first handle portion adapted to be moved from a first position to a second position by a pulling force exerted by a user on the first handle portion in a rowing motion, the input assembly defining a substantially linear path for the first handle portion from the first position to the second position.

Response to Office Action, No. 10/378,261, at 2 (Apr. 12, 2006).

The specification teaches that the rowing machine's arms travel in a substantially linear path as the handles are pulled. '261 application, at 3-4. An exemplary method of operation described in the specification depicts the user as pulling the machine's handles to overcome a selected resistance. Id. at 9. Figure 4 of the '261 application, reproduced below, shows a left side view of an embodiment of the row exercise machine.

(Image Omitted)

Page 1377

'261 application, ...


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