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Bicycle Chainring Patent Challenge Revived at Federal Circuit (1)

Dec. 18, 2019, 6:27 PMUpdated: Dec. 18, 2019, 9:37 PM

A racing equipment manufacturer got another chance to knock out claims in a rival’s bicycle chainring patent, after the Federal Circuit said a tribunal used an improper standard when deciding to uphold the claims.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board must reconsider Fox Factory Inc.'s challenge to the validity of claims in SRAM LLC’s U.S. Patent No. 9,182,027,the court ruled Dec. 18. It threw out PTAB decisions finding Fox’s argument that the claims are obvious was “easily outweighed” by evidence that SRAM’s chainrings were widely praised and satisfied a persistent need.

The PTAB wrongly presumed a strong connection, or...

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