Citing what many experts view as a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, Vonage Holdings asked the Federal Circuit appeals court this week to remand a March 8 district court verdict that held Vonage liable for infringing three voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) patents held by Verizon Communications. The appeals court, however, rejected the motion yesterday, as observers noted that Vonage had failed to justify a new trial. Ruling Monday in KSR International Corp. v. Teleflex Corp., the Supreme Court decreed unanimously that advances in technology that are considered to be “obvious” cannot be claimed as inventions that qualify for patent protection. Earlier, the Federal Circuit had ruled that Teleflex’s design for electronic sensors on truck accelerator pedals qualified for patent protection, notwithstanding the fact that the design in question represented a combination of various existing inventions. Ruling in favor of KSR (which had been accused of infringing patents held by Teleflex), the Supreme Court criticized the Federal Circuit’s interpretation as it called for a “more expansive and flexible approach that allows for common sense when assessing whether an invention is ordinary or obvious, and thus ineligible for patent protection.” Describing the high court decision as “a giant step . . . toward achieving muchneeded patent reform in this country,” Vonage asked the Federal Circuit to order a retrial at the district court level, as Vonage questioned the validity of Verizon VoIP patents in light of the Supreme Court’s decision. Although it rejected the motion, the Federal Circuit told Vonage that it could include issues connected with the KSR-Teleflex ruling in briefs on the merits of Vonage’s pending appeal.