In re: Nordt Development Co., LLC

The 865 application is directed to an elastic knee brace having a framework and a hinge with a strut and arm components. The elastic nature of the knee brace allows for and aids in the flexing of the knee. The specification describes the “injection molded” aspect of the invention in a section titled “Preferred Manufacturing Methods” near the end of the written description. During prosecution, the examiner rejected claims 1 and 14 as being anticipated by a patent that teaches a knee brace with a sleeve containing a stiffener having a connector portion that connects a proximal and a distal portion. The examiner concluded that “injection molded” is “a method of manufacturing an apparatus.” Nordt appealed, arguing that “injection molded” conveys a structural limitation in that it describes the structural relationship between the framework and the strut and arm components. The Board affirmed. The Federal Circuit vacated; the claim term at issue is structural and should have been afforded weight when assessing patentability View "In re: Nordt Development Co., LLC" on Justia Law