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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 11, November 2013, Posted On: 10/29/2013

Federal Circuit Upholds Decision To Reject Book Vending Patent Appeal

Emily Jed
TAGS: Book vending machine, Electronic Bookstore Vending Machine, vending machine inventor, Victor Manuel Celorio Garrido, U.S. Patent No. 6,213,703, Jim Wallace

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Appeals Court Federal Circuit agreed with an appeals board decision to invalidate the patent claims by the inventor of a book vending machine that prints and binds books on demand. The three-judge panel stood by the Patent Trial and Appeals board's decision upon reexamination to rely on prior art references in invalidating the patent claims of inventor Victor Manuel Celorio Garrido.

Garrido was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,213,703 for an "Electronic Bookstore Vending Machine" for printing books on demand. The Patent and Trademark Office reexamined the patent and found in 2009 that most of its claims were referenced in several published papers, including a paper by a Jim Wallace titled "Exploring IBM Print on Demand Technology," reportedly published in 1997.

Garrido appealed the decision to the Patent Trial and Appeals board, saying the Wallace's paper was actually published on Dec. 16, 1996, which did not predate his patent's priority date by a full year as required.

In its decision, the board acknowledged that Wallace's paper did not predate the priority date and thus could not be considered as a prior art reference under Section 102 (a) of the patent law. But it maintained that that the paper could be considered prior art under Section 102 (b).

When the board reheard Garrido's case, he reportedly claimed he made a mistake in attributing Dec. 16, 1996, as the publication date of Wallace's paper and claimed it was impossible to prove that it was published then, contradicting his earlier argument. The board rejected Garrido's argument because he did not raise it in his opening brief.

"Thus, the board did not err when it concluded that the argument advanced in Garrido's petition for regarding had not been properly raised on appeal, and rejected it," the three-judge panel said in its opinion.

The panel also affirmed that Garrido's allegations of misconduct against appellee Bob Holt were unsupported.

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