WHIPgroup attorneys successfully appealed an obviousness rejection for a patent application directed to a flexible medical instrument. WHIPgroup argued that one skilled in the art would not appreciate the prior art’s “pinion and rack gears” teach the “torsion shaft” of the claimed invention because of their linear motion and inflexibility. The Board agreed with WHIPgroup’s arguments, stating that “the Examiner has not provided an adequate reasoning with a rational underpinning” to modify the cited references to reach the claimed invention. The Board thus reversed the obviousness rejection.
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