Docket No. 2017-1984
LOURIE, CLEVENGER, REYNA
June 12, 2018
Brief summary: Board decision following inter partes reexamination affirming the examiner’s rejection of Mobileye’s claim for estimating a time-of-contact between a moving vehicle and an obstacle” as obvious affirmed.
Summary: Mobileye appealed Board decision following inter partes reexamination (requested by iOnRoad) affirming the examiner’s rejection of claims 1-7 of US 7,113,867 “directed to a system for estimating a time-of-contact between a moving vehicle and an obstacle” as obvious. The decision was only appealed with respect to ‘867 claim 6. The system functions “by recording successive images and analyzing ‘the rate at which the separation between the vehicle and obstacle’ is changing”, relying on “the lateral displacement” which “will ‘uniformly approach zero’…indicating that the vehicle and obstacle will collide” (claimed in appealed claim 6). iOnRoad argued that claim 6 would have been obvious over three references: “Matthews” (1994), “Lee” (1976), and “Goodrich” (US 4,257,703). Mobileye only appealed the Board’s findings regarding Goodrich, which the FC panel opinion explained “teaches a collision avoidance system that uses the ‘lateral translation of the block’ to predict ‘whether or not at its current lateral velocity, the block will clear or intersect [with] the vehicle’” (and the Board found “substantially uniformly approaches zero”). The FC panel reviewed the Board’s decision de novo (In re Elsner, FC 2004; Randall Mfg., FC 2013 citing KSR, US 2007 (obviousness)) and its underlying factual findings for substantial evidence (In re Gartside, FC 2000; Consol. Edison, US 1938 (evidence that “a reasonable mind might accept the evidence to support the finding”)). The FC panel concluded that “the Board’s finding that Goodrich teaches the ‘substantially uniformly approached zero’ limitation is supported by substantial evidence”. Mobileye’s argument that claim 6 relates to “lateral displacement” while Goodrich only teaches “collision avoidance based on a lateral velocity” was found by the FC panel to be “a distinction without a difference.” Thus, the Board’s decision was affirmed.