Diamond v. Diehr (KyleR)

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  • 1981
  • involves a patent for "the process of constantly measuring the temperature inside the [rubber] mold and feeding the temperature measurements into a computer that repeatedly recalculates the cure time by use of the mathematical equation and then signals a device to open the press at the proper time."
  • Supreme Court decided this to be patentable

  • "Industrial processes such as respondents' claims for transforming raw, uncured synthetic rubber into a different state or thing are the types which have historically been eligible to receive patent-law protection."
  • While the claim involves a mathematical equation, it is seeking a patent on the process of curing synthetic rubber. The applicants do not seek to pre-empt the use of the equation in other applications.
  • A claim containing a mathematical formula is patentable if the formula is implemented or applied in a process that performs a patentable function.

  • the involvement of a computer does not necessarily make a claim nonstatutory
  • "Congress intended statutory subject matter to 'include anything under the sun that is made by man.'"
  • "A process is a mode of treatment of certain materials to produce a given result."

  • Dissenting opinion: the question of the patentability of computer programs cannot be addressed by the Court. There is also a concern about the ability of the Patent Office to process the flood of new applications.

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