Yesterday a panel of Judges (Lourie, Reyna and Wallach) in Voter Verified, Inc. v. Premier Election Solutions, Appeal nos. 2011-1559, 2012-1016 (Fed. Cir. November 5, 2012) expanded on the Fed. Cir.’s earlier decision In re Lister, 583 F.3d 1307 (Fed. Cir. 2009)(archived under “Prior Art”), which in turn cited In re Klopfenstein, 380 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2004), to affirm a district court’s holding that a patent on “a self-verifying voting system” was obvious in view of an article (the “Benson article”) that had been posted on the “Risks Digest Website” well prior to the 102(b) bar date.
Noting that the “key inquiry is whether the reference was made ‘sufficiently available to the public interested in the art’ before the critical date”, Klopfenstein was quoted as establishing that “Whether a reference is publicly available is determined on a case-by-case basis based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the reference’s disclosure to member of the public.”