Ex parte Callewaert, APPEAL 2019-005598 (Patent Tr. & App. Bd. Feb. 25, 2021).
Following an obviousness rejection, applicant relied upon an example in the specification to help prove an unexpected result (that the living cell would create certain “unnatural glycan structures”). The PTAB rejected the argument — finding that the example was written in the present tense and therefore assumed to be prophetic and therefore “does not provide the factual evidence needed to support unexpected results.” (emphasis in original). It appears in this case, the PTAB treated the prophetic example as merely an argument.
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Ex Parte Cigan, APPEAL 2020-001230 (Patent Tr. & App. Bd. Sept. 14, 2020)
Cigan provides a minor counterpoint to Callewaert. The patent applicant argued that the prior art examples should be disregarded as merely a prophetic example. The PTAB rejected the call and instead presumed that the prior art teachings were enabling. See In re Antor Media Corp., 689 F.3d 1282 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (holding that prophetic examples in the prior art are still presumed to be enabling).
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Ex Parte Harriman, APPEAL 2020-004459 (Patent Tr. & App. Bd. Feb. 10, 2021)
In Harriman, the PTAB reversed an examiner’s enablement and written description rejections, holding that the prophetic examples of an immunoglobulin light chain were sufficient. The claims are directed to a genetically modified (transgenic) chicken grows human immunoglobulin. (owned by Ligand)