Has Eligibility become Quixotic?

Has Eligibility become Quixotic?

by Dennis Crouch

In re: Janke, Docket No. 22-1274 (Fed. Cir. 2022) (R.36 Judgment)

Mr. Garth Janke is a former HP engineer and now a patent attorney at Garth Janke LLC.  Janke is also an inventor. Most recently, he has been pursuing patent protection on his clog-free leaf rake.  His Dulcinea. I live in a forest and have a basic rule against raking or blowing leaves–otherwise my grass would grow and then I would need to mow. But, to each his own.

Janke’s invention can be seen in the two drawings above. The Fig. 1 is a traditional prior art rake. Janke’s improvement is shown in Fig. 3. The improvement is to put a hole toward the end of each rake-tine.  A user can thread a string-trimmer line through the holes to help prevent leaf-clog.  Janke’s claim 1 is directed at a rake with holes through the tines. And he did a nice job of making clear to everyone “the holes through the tines are the only thing about the product of Claim 1 that is new.”

But, Claim 1 isn’t at issue in this appeal.

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