Digest of In re Blake Bookstaff, No. 2014-1463 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 26, 2015) (non-precedential). On appeal from P.T.A.B. in Application Serial No. 12/392,192. Before Moore, Schall, and Reyna.

Procedural Posture: Appellant appealed Patent Trial and Appeal Board rejection of claims for a point-of-sale (“POS”) device that can be used to improve the manner in which gratuities are calculated and added to the amounts charged. CAFC reversed and remanded.

  • Obviousness: The claimed invention for a POS device that transmits information concerning a charge, including the amount owed, to the card issuer, and then receives data that is “indicative” of a gratuity improves over the prior art that did not provide gratuity data from the card issuer. The Board incorrectly construed “data that is indicative of a gratuity to be charged” (emphasis added) as a total value which may or may not include a gratuity, and failed to note that the data transmitted by the card issuer in the prior art did not provide a way to ascertain the amount of the total that is indicative of the gratuity. The term “indicative” implies an “indexed” value. Accordingly, the Board must re-consider whether, under this construction, the claimed invention is nonobvious.