QUESTION: Patent Prior Art Question? If I have an invention for which the examiner has cited examples of prior art that could be combined to form my invention, but such prior art has all been around for 20 years and yet no one has combined them to form my invention, can a successful argument be made that it is not obvious due to the fact that if it had been obvious from the cited prior art, that it would have been done at some point in that 20 year time frame?
ANSWER: Your proposed response would not be legally persuasive. Also, you may not be able to provide evidence that your invention has never been done in the 20 year time frame. Generally, if the examiner can find all of your claimed invention features in prior patents, you will probably not be successful in convincing the examiner that your invention is not obvious.