Supreme Court Rejects Miller’s Petition in Miller v. Brand and Capital Machine

CHICAGO – LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S, announced that the United States Supreme Court has denied the Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the case of Miller v. Brand and Capital Machine, in effect concluding the case in favor of Brinks’ client, Capital Machine Co., Inc.

Inventors from Capital Machine and Miller Veneers, both based in Indianapolis, Indiana, each filed patent applications on methods of mounting and attaching a tapered log to a rotating apparatus in order to slice sheets of veneer from the tapered log, allowing for a more efficient use of the wood. At the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (USPTO), Miller Veneers argued that it had shown several drawings depicting certain elements of the invention to Capital Machine and that Capital Machine derived its invention from Miller Veneers based on those drawings. Although the USPTO acknowledged that Miller Veneers failed to provide any evidence demonstrating that its drawings actually communicated the claimed invention, the USPTO relied on its own expertise and found that the Miller Veneer drawings communicated the invention to Capital Machine, even though the record showed evidence to the contrary. The USPTO therefore concluded that Capital Machine derived the invention from Miller Veneers.

In May 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion reversing the earlier decision by the USPTO and ordering that judgment be entered for Brand and Capital Machine Co., Inc. The Court held that “the [USPTO] impermissibly relied on its own expertise in determining the question of derivation” and “substituted its own expertise for record evidence that Miller was obligated to provide.”

Miller then requested a panel rehearing by the Federal Circuit, which was denied. In September, the Brand patent application was remanded to the examiner for further action consistent with the judgment in its favor. However, in August, Miller filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari before the Supreme Court, requesting a rehearing. The Petition was denied on November 26, leaving Miller no further course of action.

The Brinks attorneys representing Capital Machine included Raymond W. Green, Henry L. Brinks, Cynthia A. Homan, Meredith Martin Addy, David H. Badger, C. Noel Kaman and Laura Lydigsen.

Founded in 1917, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is based in Chicago with four additional offices across the country serving the intellectual property needs of clients from around the world. The firm is one of the largest IP law firms in the country, with more than 170 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents specializing in intellectual property litigation and all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, intellectual asset management, and technology and licensing agreements. Brinks routinely handles assignments in fields as diverse as electrical, chemical, mechanical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, Internet and computer technology, as well as in trademarks and brand names for a wide variety of products and services. For more information, visit

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