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In re Greene

December 6, 1999

IN RE LEONARD M. GREENE


(Serial No. 07/765,024)

Before Newman, Michel, and Gajarsa, Circuit Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michel, Circuit Judge.

Leonard M. Greene appeals from the decision, dated January 21, 1999, of the Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences ("Board") in Appeal No. 94-3338 affirming rejection of all remaining claims of Patent Application No. 07/765,024, entitled "A Method and System for Concisely Registering Telephone Numbers, Postal Addresses, and Geographic Locations," as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103 (1994). We affirm.

BACKGROUND

Greene applied for a patent on September 24, 1991 for an invention he styles as an "improved telephone directory wherein the telephone number identifies the actual geographic location of the telephone and at the same time serves as an individual's or organization's postal address." Claims 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 10 are the only remaining claims.

The specification describes a system of assigning telephone numbers based on the individual's longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates. For example, an entity located at latitude 41ø 04.9 North and longitude 73ø 42.8 West, might receive a telephone number of (4173) 049428. The rationale given by Greene for the invention is that it would create a less voluminous telephone directory that still conveyed information about an individual's telephone number, address and geographic location. According to Greene's application, using fixed geographic coordinates as the address and as the telephone number eliminates the need for separate addresses in the directory. Thus, Greene alleges, the size of the directory would be reduced by up to 30 percent, while including additional information about the "precise global location of the entity. In addition, Greene's application indicates that the invention would facilitate locating an entity based on its telephone number.

Claim 5 illustrates the scope of the independent claims, 1, 5, and 9:

5. A method for registering telephone numbers and stationary geographic locations in a directory comprising the steps of:

identifying a plurality of named entities and the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates which correspond to the stationary geographic locations of each of the named entities;

assigning a telephone number including at least a portion of the identified longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates of the stationary geographic location to each of the named entities;

organizing the named entities; and,

listing the organized named entities and telephone numbers associated therewith including at least a portion of the identified longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates of the stationary geographic locations in a directory whereby the telephone numbers indicate the geographic locations of each of the named entities. (Emphasis added).

The dependent claims, 3, 6, and 10 are best illustrated by claim 10:

10. A display . . . in which the organized list includes the postal address and the entities are listed in alphabetical order, and in which the phone numbers are the geographical locations and the addresses, the locations are the phone numbers and the ...


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