Intellectual Property Owners Association

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* *Folding Treadmill Invention Was Obvious
In re Icon Health and Fitness, Inc. 2006-1573

On August 1 in an opinion by Judge Prost, the Federal Circuit upheld a USPTO decision on reexamination that Icon’s treadmill with a folding base, allowing the base to swivel into an upright storage position and utilizing a gas spring to keep the base upright, was obvious. The issue was whether one skilled in the art would combine a reference showing a folding treadmill with one showing a folding bed with a gas spring. The Federal Circuit rejected arguments that the second reference was not in an “analogous art” and that it “taught away” from Icon’s invention. The court found a reason to combine the references but did not refer to a teaching, suggestion or motivation test. The Supreme Court’s KSR opinion was cited in passing.