1/31/11 : Graham v. John Deere (kyergler)
Case 1: Graham v. John Deere (1966)
- Reason it went to the Supreme Court: a conflict between two circuits
- "Although the Patent Act was amended, revised or codified some 50 times between 1790 and 1950, Congress steered clear of a statutory set of requirements other than the bare novelty and utility tests reformulated in Jefferson's draft of the 1793 Patent Act."
- Graham's '798 patent application (1953) was rejected on all 12 claims as not distinguishable from Graham's '811 patent (1950) as improvements well within the expected skill of the art and devoid of invention.
- Petitioners argued solely for the "interchanging of the shank and the hinge plate as the consequences flowing from this argument", being that this permits the shank to flex under stress for its entire length.
- Mr, Justice Clark did not agree with the petitioner's claim in that the difference does not support patentability. Obvious skill in the art could create this invention as an improvement on patent '811. PLUS, a testimony of the petitioner's experts reveal that the flexing advantages are not a significant feature in the patent.
- Glencoe: prior art. All of the elements of the '798 patent are present in the Glencoe structure, and the mechanical operation is identical even thought the setup looks opposite.
- No Nonobvious differences, nor mechanical distinctions
Case 2 : Calmar, Inc. v. Cook Chemical Co., and Colgate-Palmolive Co. v. Cook Chemical Co. (date?)
- Cook Chemical contends that the invention encompasses a unique combination of admittedly old elements that that patentability is found in the results produced. Its expert testified that the invention was "the first commercially successful, inexpensive integrated shipping closure pump unit which permitted automated assembly with a container of household insecticide or similar liquids to produce a practical, ready-to-use package which could be shipped without external leakage and which was so organized that the pump unit with its hold-down cap could be itself assembled and sealed and the later assembled and sealed on the container without breaking of the first seal.
- Cook Chemical stressed the "long-felt need in the industry for such a device"
- Calmar says "the device as a whole would have been obvious at the time of its invention to a person having ordinary skill in the art."
- SUMMARY: Even though there was a long felt need, due to section 103 that is a secondary consideration. It is still non-obvious regardless of its need in the industry.
- The Livingstone arrangement was similar to the patent-at-hand, even though the intention was different (to cover and protect pouring spouts).
- The Scoggin invention rests upon exceedingly small and quite nontechnical mechanical differences in a device which was old in the art. At the latest, those differences were rendered apparent in 1953 by the appearance of the Livingstone patent, and unsuccessful attempts to reach a solution to the problems confronting Scoggin made before that time became wholly irrelevant.