from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent
Trial and Appeal Board in No. 95/001, 352.
H. Brean, The Webb Law Firm, Pittsburgh, PA, argued for
appellant. Also represented by Richard L. Byrne, James G.
Wayne Massey, Harness, Dickey & Pierce, PLC, Troy, MI,
argued for appellee.
Newman, Dyk, and Wallach, Circuit Judges.
WALLACH, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Erecting and Dismantling Co., Inc. ("Allied")
appeals the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board's
("PTAB") decision, on inter partes reexamination,
concluding that claims 1–21 of U.S. Patent No. 7, 121,
489 ("the '489 patent") would have been obvious
over German prior art reference DE 297 15 490 U1
("Caterpillar") (J.A. 131–44) and U.S. Patent
No. 4, 283, 866 ("Ogawa") (J.A. 145–51).
See Genesis Attachments, LLC v. Allied Erecting &
Dismantling Co., No. IPR2014-001006, 2014 WL 7274949
(P.T.A.B. Dec. 19, 2014); (PTAB decision denying rehearing)
(J.A. 2–8). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm
the PTAB's decision.
'489 patent, entitled "Multiple Tool Attachment
System, " is directed to heavy machinery tools used for
construction and demolition that can be attached to a
universal body, which in turn can be attached to
"multiple tools, such as a heavy-duty metal cutting
shear, a plate shear, a concrete crusher, [or] a
grapple." '489 patent col. 1 ll. 22–24.
Traditionally, such tools (i.e., shears, crushers, grapples,
etc.) were designed independently, such that "one type
of tool associated with each body  can have the greatest
possible utility and application." Id. col. 1
ll. 60–62. According to the '489 patent, this
approach did "not provide a system for easily changing
tools or a system which allows complete[ly] separate tools to
efficiently share a common structure." Id. col.
2 ll. 30–32. As a result, one purpose of the '489
patent is "to provide a multiple tool attachment system
which is easily converted between a plurality of distinct
tools." Id. col. 2 ll. 44–46. To achieve
this objective, the '489 patent describes a "quick
change feature" that enables different demolition
tools to be efficiently substituted for one another.
1 of the '489 patent (illustrated below) is illustrative
of the claimed invention. It depicts a shear (10) attached to
a body (18), which is then attached to a piece of demotion
equipment, such as a backhoe (not illustrated). Body (18) is
referred to as a "universal body . . . because it
remains common to a series of tools or tool units [i.e., jaw
sets] in the attachment system." Id. col. 5 11.
fig 1; J.A. 80.
body (18) depicted above in Figure 1 is referred to as a
"universal body . . . because it remains common to a
series of tools or tool units [i.e., jaw sets] in the
attachment system." Id. col. 5 U. 59-61. As
illustrated in Figure 1, each jaw set of the shear has a main
pin (16) about which jaws (12 and 14) can rotate. "A
bridge housing 48 surrounds the main pin 16 and is utilized
for quickly and easily attaching the main pin 16 and the
associated jaw set to the universal body 18."
Id. col. 6 11. 56-59.
57 (depicted below) of the '489 patent illustrates the
structure of the bridge housing. Sides (19) of universal body
(18), (see Figure 1) terminate at receiving member (42) that
fits between two bridge housing plates (405 and 406).
Receiving member (42) has a curved surface (412) formed via a
cutaway that engages with cylindrical sleeve (408), and
surrounds main pin (16) (see Figure 1). When receiving member
(42) is engaged with sleeve (408), apertures (52) will be
ahgned and keeper pins (50) can be inserted to attach the
bridge housing to the universal body. Id. col. 6 11.
claim 1 (as amended) is representative of the claimed
invention and recites:
A tool set for coupling to the receiving member of a body
having hydrauhcally powered
blades, the tool set comprising:
a pair of movable blades pivoted together about
a main pivot pin;
a bridge housing encasing the main pivot pin, wherein the
bridge housing is separate from themo ...