專利進步性之判斷（一）—美國判例於進步性之原則— 專利工程師 / 陳詠容
Discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution (1) – improvement to the existing solution principles in Taiwan - Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen
The issue of novelty, improvement to the existing solution, and industrial usefulness are the three main requirements to gain its patent right. By looking at the patent administrative litigation and civil litigation case studies, it is not hard to find that there are more topics focuses on its controversial issues of improvement to the existing solution principles. This article would be divided into four parts; the first two articles would lead our reader to understand how the America’s case study can influence on its discretion of whether its patent has useful improvement to the existing solution, followed by examining its judicial reasoning by comparing our current patent examination procedure. Lastly, we will discuss Taiwan’s case judgements and its criteria standards.
America’s case implications on its improvement to the existing solution principles
美國對於進步性之判斷，早已豎立了TSM檢測法，即教示（Teaching）、建議（Suggestion）及動機（Motivation）。而1966年美國最高法院於Graham v. John Deere Co.案（以下簡稱「Graham案」）提出進步性分析原則：(1) 確定先前技術之範圍與內容；(2) 確定先前技術與有爭議之專利範圍請求項間之區別；(3) 確定相關領域一般技術之水準。如經此三步驟判斷出爭議專利範圍請求項係其所屬領域中具通常知識者可輕易完成者，則該發明則為顯而易見，惟仍須同時考量爭議之專利範圍是否有商業上成功、解決長期未解決之問題、或他人皆無法成功發明等次要衡量因素。然而，TSM檢測法在美國實務運作卻產生引證資料只限於明示，且忽略所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者之角色等問題。
In terms of America’s discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution, there is implications on the TSM test and concepts including teaching, suggestion and motivation. In the case of Graham v John Deere Co (1996), (“Graham” case) list out all the elements when determining whether its application has improvement to the existing solution on principles. This includes: (1) confirm the claims and the drawings of the application; (2) confirm its prior art and the disputed claims and the drawings of the current application; (3) confirm relevant skills in the relevant field. Once we determine the three steps in terms of its patent dispute range that an ordinary person can be easily accomplished, such patent would be treated as ‘obvious to try’ and its case would be treated as invalid. However examiner should also need to balance and to take other factors into account such as how wide is its patent claiming and whether there is any business success, long term problem solving solutions or others inventions that cannot be easily accomplished by an ordinary person. However by looking at the implications of the TSM test, it only included ‘obvious to try’ principle in practice but neglected to look at its technology field problems for which an ordinary person would have.
In the case of KSR v Teleflex (2007), is a decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States, apart from the principles established in Graham, for which the ‘obvious to try’ principle should be broader and flexible. This case is being criticized to be too rigidly that its citing reference (1) shouldn’t be limited to its problem solving ; (2) such prior art should cover all the technical field; (3) the “teaching, suggestion and motivation” principles shouldn’t be restricted to prior art only; (4) if such patent is foreseeable of its success, it wouldn’t be considered as invention.
 383 US 1, 17-18, 148 USPQ 459, 467 (1966).
Qi-Chong Zhang (2008), The case of KSR and its influence on United States in practice Technology Law Review (5)1, Page 251-253.
Ibid, page 231-232.
 550 U.S. 398, 419-22 (2007).
 參顏吉承，美國 KSR 案判決對我國進步性審查之啟示，智慧財產權月刊，第105 期 ，2007年，頁17-21。
Ji-Cheng Yan (2007), KSR case in America which is a reflection of Taiwan’s concerning issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims. Intellectual Property Monthly. 105, Page 17-21.
 參沈宗倫、何皓華、潘玉蘭，以美國聯邦最高法院KSR 案為借鏡再建構我國專利法下專利進步性要件之合理詮釋，行政院國家科學委員會專題研究計畫(NSC 99-2410-H-004-222)，2011年10月21日。
Zong-Lun Chen., Hao-Hua He., Yu-Lan Pan (2011, October). Uses the KSR case made by the Supreme Court of the United States as reflection on restricting Taiwan’s Patent Law and the issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims. National Science Board Task Research Project (NSC 99-2410-H-004-222).