In re: Van Os, No. 15-1975 (Fed. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The 470 application is directed to a touchscreen interface in a portable electronic device that allows a user to rearrange icons. The claims at issue recite the initiation of an “interface reconfiguration mode” to permit icon rearrangement. The claims distinguish among a “first user touch” to open an application, a longer “second user touch” to initiate the interface reconfiguration mode, and a “subsequent user movement” to move an icon. The Patent Board affirmed that claims 38–41 would have been obvious over the Hawkins patent, which discloses a personal communication device with a touch-sensitive screen, and the Gillespie publication, disclosing an interface on a computer touch pad with an unactivated state and an activated state, in which icons are functional and can be removed or rearranged. The Federal Circuit vacated, noting the lack of any reasoning or analysis to support finding a motivation to add Gillespie’s disclosure to Hawkins beyond stating it would have been an “intuitive way” to initiate Hawkins’ editing mode.