Docket No. 2017-2524
PROST, MOORE, STOLL
August 14, 2018
Brief summary: PTAB decision affirming examiner’s rejection of Facebook’s claims for obviousness and anticipation reversed since prior art reference did satisfy the claim “rule requiring the image elements to be contiguous” (“[n]othing about Perrodin’s algorithm required contiguity”, although “the example depicted in Figures 18 and 19 happened to result in contiguity”).
Summary: Facebook appealed PTAB affirmance of a patent examiner’s rejection of its ‘636 application claims to “a method for arranging images contiguously in an array” (“for use, for example, in displaying a series of images on a social-networking profile”) for obviousness and anticipation. An “algorithm of the ‘636 application determines the arrangement of the image elements, and adjusts the placement ‘so as to preserve a contiguous layout’” and responds “to user actions such as resizing or resequencing images, while continuing ‘to ensure an array of contiguous image elements.’” “The examiner and the Board relied in part on” the Perrodin patent application “which disclosed a method for arranging content in a digital journal” (the reference “satisfied the ‘rule requiring the image elements to be contiguous’ limitation”). The FC panel found, however, that “[n]othing about Perrodin’s algorithm required contiguity”, acknowledging “that the example depicted in Figures 18 and 19 happened to result in contiguity.” And this, the FC panel wrote, “cannot represent a general rule that would demand contiguity for all images, as required by the claims here.” The FC panel reversed the PTAB’s decision since “Perrodin’s algorithm did not require contiguity in response to resizing or rearranging in all cases, but rather left open the possibility that cells would be left unfilled”.