The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that a method of enzymatic hydrolysis of soy fiber for use in creating food additives is not patentable because it would have been obvious in light of previous inventions. In re Urbanski, No. 15-1272 (Fed. Cir., order entered January 8, 2016). The plaintiffs challenged the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s denial of a patent for their technique of creating food additives from soy fiber, which the examiner found to be “readily combinable” from two prior inventions.

The Federal Circuit agreed with the examiner’s and appeals board’s determinations that a person of ordinary skill would have expected that adjusting the process as the plaintiffs did would have yielded the results they reached. Accordingly, the court affirmed the prior dismissal.