Gottschalk v. Benson SKH

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  • An idea of itself is not patentable.
  • A principle, in the abstract, is fundamental truth, an original cause, a motive; these cannot be patented, as no one can claim in any of them an exclusive right.
  • Phenomena of nature, although just discovered, mental processes, and abstract intellectual concepts are not patentable as they are basic tools of scientific and technological work.
  • He who discovers hitherto unknown phenomenon of nature has no claim to a monopoly of it which law recognizes and if there is to be invention from such discovery, it must come from application of law of nature to new and useful end.
  • Transformation and reduction of article to different state or thing is clue to patentability of precess claim that does not include particular machines.
  • It is not necessarily the case that no process patent may ever qualify without meeting requirements of prior precedents, that no program for serving computer, such as program for analog computers, is patentable, or that process patents are frozen to old technologies.
  • Computer program involving method of converting binary-coded-decimal numerals without substantial practical application except in connection with digital computer, was not a patentable process.
  • If programs for digital computers are to be patentable, problems are raised which only congressional committees can manage, and question is policy matter to which court is not competent to speak.
  • 35 §100(b)
    • ``The term `process' means process, art or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material."
  • 35 §101
    • ``Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title."