Patent Japan

Thursday, July 20, 2006

From Archives - Grand Panel Case of IP High Court, “Parameter Case” (1)

On November 11, 2005, the Grand Panel of Intellectual Property High Court made another decision. This case is an appeal from the decision of the opposition proceeding by the Appeal Division of the Patent Office.

The patent is addressed to “an manufacturing process of polarizing film”, which is so-called “parameter invention”, defined by a certain range using two parameters of its characteristics.

The specification says as a technical effect that polarizing film having excellent durability, polarization, and reliability can be achieved, but it disclosed only two examples within the scope of the claim and two comparative examples outside its scope.

Issues in this case are;
1) whether the support requirement by the specification (Section 36(6)(i)), and/or the enablement requirement is satisfied (Section 36(4)),
2) whether presenting ex-post experiment data is permitted to supplement the disclosure of the specification,
3) whether the retroactive application of the Patent Examination Guidelines is permitted.

The claim at issue is;
“A method of manufacturing polarizing film, comprising
a step of preparing a polyvinyl alcohol resin as original fabric, having the width of 30-100 μm, and the relation of the temperature of complete dissolution in hot water (x) and the temperature of equilibrium swelling (y) is defined as the equations given below,
and a step of uniaxially drawing the polyvinyl alcohol resin by 1.2 - 2 times in the process of dyeing and by 2 - 6 times in the process of boron compound treatment.
y > -0.0667x + 6.73
x >= 65
Here, “x” is defined as the temperature of complete dissolution of 2cm x 2cm film in hot water. And, “y” is defined as the temperature of equilibrium swelling, which is calculated by the ratio of film’s weight after the process of dipping of 10cm x 10cm film in constant-temperature water of 20 `C for 15 minutes, against its weight after drying it for 2 hours at 105 `C.”

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