Appeal in Patent Infringement Suit Re Hitch Pin Locks Addressed

By FindLaw Staff on July 23, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Wyers v. Master Lock Co., 09-1412, concerned a challenge to a jury finding that defendant failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that the certain claim of the patents at issue would have been obvious, and district court's denial of defendant's renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law, in an action for infringement of patents related to hitch pin locks that secure trailers to cars and sport utility vehicles.

In reversing, the court held that it was a matter of common sense to combine the prior art, and one of ordinary skill in the art would have had a reasonable expectation of success in doing so.  The court rejected plaintiff's argument for secondary considerations as, where the inventions represented no more than the predictable use of prior art elements according to their established functions, the secondary considerations are inadequate to establish nonobviousness as a matter of law.

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