The application in this case relates to an autonomous driving technology of a vehicle. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) finally rejected the application for lack of an inventive step over a combination of three cited references (“Cited References 1 to 3”). In response thereto, LEE INTERNATIONAL appealed against the Final Rejection with the IPTAB, which was persuaded by our arguments that one of ordinary skill in the art would not be motivated to combine Cited References 1 to 3. Further, the IPTAB confirmed that the technical significance in the difference between the claimed invention and Cited References 1 to 3 in terms of constitution should be acknowledged. Thus, the IPTAB issued a decision reversing the Final Rejection of the application, and concluding that the claimed invention has an inventive step on March 18, 2021, and the application was remanded to the Examining Board of KIPO.
The claimed invention of the application is characterized by transmitting different amounts of additional data for detected data with high localization requirements and low localization requirements, respectively, in order to allow the vehicle to determine the position of the data detected by the vehicle with improved accuracy even if the high-precision map required for autonomous driving of the vehicle is not provided in the vehicle. However, the examiner determined that the technical feature of the claimed invention could have been easily conceived by a combination of the related parts disclosed in each of Cited References 1 to 3. Particularly, the examiner concluded that there was no technical difficulty in combining Cited References 1 to 3 without providing any reasonable basis. However, i) there was a clear difference between the claimed invention and Cited References 1 to 3 in terms of the positioning target; and ii) since there is one positioning target in Cited References 1 to 3, and there is no reason or necessity to vary the amount of local data required for positioning according to the object, the technical problem to be solved of the claimed invention is different from that of Cited References 1 to 3. Accordingly, LEE INTERNATIONAL filed a Notice of Appeal of the Final Rejection with the IPTAB and argued that such final rejection lacks merit since there is a clear difference between the claimed invention and Cited References 1 to 3 in terms of constitution and technical problem to be solved, and one of ordinary skill in the art would not be motivated to combine Cited References 1 to 3. During the appeal, LEE INTERNATIONAL explained in detail the difference in terms of constitution based on specific embodiments supported by the specification in order to prevent the technical key concept from being misunderstood or overlooked, and clarified the technical effect obtained from the claimed invention over Cited References 1 to 3, i.e., preventing the waste of time for calculation and reducing expenses by not equipping a separate data bank for storing data to further emphasize the technical significance due to the difference in constitution. In addition, on the basis that the technical problem to be solved of the claimed invention is clearly different from that of Cited References 1 to 3, LEE INTERNATIONAL argued that there is no motivation to combine Cited References 1 to 3 to conceive the claimed invention. In this regard, the IPTAB was fully persuaded by LEE INTERNATIONAL’s arguments, and issued a decision confirming the inventive step of the claimed invention of the application.
In the case where a patentability of a claimed invention is denied based on a combination of multiple cited references, the subject case could be referenced as a typical example of i) arguing that there is no motivation to combine the cited references due to the difference between the claimed invention and the cited references in terms of technical problem to be solved; and ii) presenting a technical effect obtained from the difference between the claimed invention and the cited references in terms of constitution to show that such difference has sufficient technical significance to be recognized for its inventive step.
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