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In re Chudik

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

March 27, 2017

IN RE: STEVEN C. CHUDIK, Appellant

         Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. 11/525, 631.

          Gregory B. Beggs, Law Offices of Gregory B. Beggs, Downers Grove, IL, argued for appellant.

          Mary L. Kelly, Office of the Solicitor, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA, argued for appellee Michelle K. Lee. Also represented by NATHAN K. Kelley, Meredith Hope Schoenfeld, Thomas W. Krause.

          Before Dyk, Reyna, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.

          Reyna, Circuit Judge.

         Steven Chudik appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's ("Board") determination that claims 1, 15, 18, and 33-40 of U.S. Patent Application 11/525, 631 ("'631 application") are anticipated by two prior art references. Because substantial evidence does not support the Board's determination, we reverse.

         Background

         1. The'631 Application

         The '631 application, entitled "Glenoid Implant for Minimally Invasive Shoulder Replacement Surgery, " describes an invention related to "rotator cuff sparing procedures and associated devices for shoulder replacement surgery." J.A. 24, ¶ 2. The '631 application improves on the prior art by offering "simple and less invasive perpendicular access to the humeral and glenoid joint surfaces, " which "spares the rotator cuff tendons and allows for a quicker and more functional recovery." J.A. 29-30, ¶¶ 12-13. As relevant here, the surgery described in the '631 application involves two main steps. First, the surgeon removes "a minimal amount of bone from the peripheral surface of the glenoid"-a process called reaming. See J.A. 51, ¶ 124. Second, the surgeon places an implant in the reamed cavity. See J.A. 57, ¶ 142. The glenoid, reamer, and implant are pictured below:

         (IMAGE OMITTED)

         J.A. 79, 91, 94. The scapula is the shoulder bone connecting the humerus (upper arm bone) to the clavicle (the collar bone). Figure 7a shows that the glenoid cavity 22 faces outward on the scapula. Figure 21 depicts a side view of the reamer, and Figure 22 shows how the reaming surface 114 faces toward the glenoid cavity. J.A. 30, ¶ 17; J.A. 37, ¶ 80.

         Once the glenoid cavity has been reamed, the implant's protruding surface 119 "sits within the concavity of the reamed glenoid surface." J.A. 57, ¶ 142. Figures 23a and 27a show the protruding surface 119, which "protrudes into the glenoid 22 to a specified depth." Id. The '631 application describes the reaming surface 114 in similar terms to the protruding surface 119. Compare J.A. 51, ¶ 124, with J.A. 57, ¶ 142. Like the reaming surface 114, the protruding surface 119 faces toward the glenoid cavity. See Fig. 22.

         Representative independent claims 1 and 40 are at issue in this appeal.[1] They recite:

1. A glenoid implant comprising:
a shell having a protruding surface on a first side arranged to engage the surface of a cavity formed in a glenoid extending between peripheral glenoid surfaces, and
a flat surface on the first side adjacent the protruding surface arranged to engage the peripheral glenoid surfaces adjacent the cavity, and
a wear-resistant articulating surface on a second side opposite the flat surface and the protruding surface.
40. A glenoid implant comprising:
a protruding surface on a first side arranged to engage the surface of a cavity formed in a glenoid extending between peripheral glenoid surfaces, and
a substantially planar wear-resistant articulating surface on a second side opposite the protruding surface.

J.A. 3 (disputed term ...


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