The Supreme Court altered the obviousness landscape in 2007 with KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. The Court held that common sense may allow “a person of ordinary skill [to] fit the teachings of multiple patents together like pieces of a puzzle.” The Federal Circuit recently revisited “common sense” in B/E Aerospace v. C&D Zodiac, which involved an airplane lavatory having two recesses allowing close positioning of an airplane seat. The court affirmed an obviousness rejection on the grounds that it would have been common sense to incorporate a second recess when the prior art taught a first recess. This case is a simple reminder that “common sense” may still play a role in an obviousness determination.
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