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In re Brandt

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

March 27, 2018

IN RE: GREGORY A. BRANDT, JOHN B. LETTS, FIRESTONE BUILDING PRODUCTS COMPANY, LLC, Appellants

          Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. 13/652, 858.

          Arthur M. Reginelli, Renner, Kenner, Grieve, Bobak, Taylor & Weber, Akron, OH, argued for appellants. Also represented by Laura J. Gentilcore, Ray L. Weber.

          Robert McBride, Office of the Solicitor, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA, argued for appellee Andrei Iancu. Also represented by Nathan K. Kelley, Molly R. Silfen, Coke Morgan Stewart.

          Before Lourie, Reyna, and Taranto, Circuit Judges.

          REYNA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Gregory A. Brandt, John B. Letts, and Firestone Building Products Company LLC appeal from a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirming an examiner's obviousness rejection of their patent application claims related to construction board for a covered roof. Because substantial evidence supports the Boards factual findings, and the Board did not err in its conclusion of obviousness, we affirm.

         Background

         On October 16, 2012, inventors Brandt and Letts (together, "Brandt") filed Patent Application No. 13/652, 858 ("'858 application") with the United States Patent Office. The '858 application relates to "high density polyurethane or polyisocyanurate construction boards, as well as their use in flat or low-slope roofing systems." J.A. 17. Following examination, only independent claims 1 and 3 remained in the '858 application. Those claims are directed to a covered roof and a method for applying covering to a roof, respectively. Both claims are at issue in this appeal.

         Figure 2 of the '858 application depicts the covered roof:

         (IMAGE OMITTED)

         J.A. 40. As shown in Figure 2, the covered roof consists of stratified layers comprising a roof deck 32, an insulation board 34, and a high-density coverboard 10. The '858 application explains that coverboards "add integrity to the roof." J.A. 18. When layered atop the insulation board, as in Figure 2, the coverboard can protect the insulation board which is "prone to denting or damage due to the fact that insulation boards are low density cellular materials." Id.

         Representative claim 1 provides:

1. A covered roof ...

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