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In Re Edward K. Y. Jung and Lowell L. Wood

March 28, 2011

IN RE EDWARD K. Y. JUNG AND LOWELL L. WOOD, JR.


Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in application Serial No. 10/770,072.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Linn, Circuit Judge.

Before GAJARSA, LINN, and DYK, Circuit Judges.

Edward K.Y. Jung and Lowell L. Wood, Jr. (collectively, "Jung") appeal the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences ("Board") sustaining the invalidity of all but five claims of U.S. Patent Application No. 10/770,072 ("'072 application") for anticipation or obviousness. Ex parte Jung, No. 2008-3711 (B.P.A.I. Nov. 21, 2008) ("Decision"), reconsideration denied, Ex parte Jung, No. 2008-3711 (B.P.A.I. July 7, 2009) ("Reconsideration"). Because the examiner properly established a prima facie case of invalidity, and because the Board did not act improperly as a "super-examiner," this court affirms.

BACKGROUND

On January 20, 2004, Jung filed the '072 application directed to a photo-detector array system for transforming light inputs into electrical signals. The relevant claims are as follows:

1. A system comprising:

a photo-detector array having a first charge well;

a first charge pump operably coupled with the first charge well; and

a first charge counter operably coupled with said first charge pump.

4. The system of Claim 1, further comprising:

a first well-charge-level controller operably coupled with said first charge pump.

5. The system of Claim 4, wherein said first well-charge-level controller operably coupled with said first charge pump further comprises:

a processor configured to control said first charge pump utilizing at least one of a proportional, integral, and derivative control.

'072 application at 12. The '072 application also included Figure 1, showing a photo-detector array, 100, and its components:

Id. Fig. 1 (graphic emphasis added). The dispute centers around the well-charge-level controller, designated 108 and circled in Figure 1 above. The application describes the functioning of the well-charge-level controller as follows:

Well-charge-level controller 108 typically gains knowledge of the detected accumulated charge level of charge well 102 from an output of well-charge-level detector 114. Well-charge-level detector 114 relatively continuously senses the level of charge in charge well 102 and generates the output indicative of that charge in a form appropriate to well-charge-level controller 108.

Id. at 5. Jung noted that "[t]hose having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the specific devices and processes described herein are intended as merely illustrative ...


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