EmeraChem Holdings, LLC v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

EmeraChem’s 758 patent claims methods for regenerating a devitalized catalyst/absorber that has absorbed and oxidized nitrates and nitrites after exposure to pollutants in the combustion gases of engines by passing a regeneration gas over the catalyst without removing the catalyst. The application was filed in 1994; the patent issued in 1997, naming Guth and Campbell as co-inventors. The 758 patent incorporates Campbell 558 in its entirety. The application for Campbell 558 was filed months before the 758 application; the patent issued in 1995, disclosing a catalyst/absorber used to absorb and oxidize pollutants from exhaust gas but requiring removal of the catalyst/absorber. Campbell, Danziger, Guth, and Padron are its named co-inventors. Volkswagen sought inter partes review of the 758 patent, alleging anticipation of various claims and that various claims would have been obvious under 35 U.S.C. 103(a) over the combination of Campbell 558 and a prior reference. The Patent Board found that certain claims of the 758 patent would have been obvious over Campbell and another reference. The Federal Circuit affirmed as to several claims and vacated with respect to others. Campbell’s Declaration was insufficient to demonstrate that the cited portions of Campbell are not “by another.” The Board did not err in holding Campbell is section 102(e) prior art. The court remanded for clarification of whether the Board adopted a new rationale for unpatentability in its final written decision. View "EmeraChem Holdings, LLC v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc." on Justia Law