A Hindsight-Averse Application Of Lead Compound Case Law

Law360, New York (August 24, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT) -- Post-KSR,[1] the Federal Circuit has decided various cases addressing the patentability of new chemical compounds. In those cases, the Federal Circuit expressly engaged in a determination of whether prior art compounds proposed by the patent challenger (“lead compounds”) would have been compounds that one of ordinary skill in the art would have chosen as starting points for further innovation. Based on the legal framework from the lead compound cases, briefly discussed below, we propose a “Lead Prior Art” methodology for approaching obviousness determinations in all technical...
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