Kgodshal Homework 3
Obvious The patent is invalid under Section 103 due to the lack of nonobviousness of the patent. Based upon the sketches and description, as well as the general construction, dimension, purpose and functioning of patent 2,627,798 in comparison to that of patent 2,493,811, there are no meaningful differences. The Supreme Court case Hotchkiss v. Greenwood established the precedent of nonobviousness, which was codified under the Patent Act of 1952, and which states that for a patent to be valid it must demonstrate that it differs from a previous invention in such a way that the changes are not obvious to an individual skilled in the relevant art. The Graham patent is simply an improvement upon an existing patent, and although it may be superior in some regards, improvement does not satisfy the requirement of nonobviousness. The patent could be valid, if there were some aspect of it that differed fundamentally from the patent it was based upon. The lengthening of certain components to increase durability is not sufficient for this because the components remain the same, merely modified for convenience. This precedent has been established in A & P Tea Co. v. Supermarket Corp. Furthermore, based upon the nature of the problem, stresses and wear on the upper plate, lengthening the shank would be the obvious solution and required no creativity. The purpose of a patent is to reward and encourage innovation, in spite of the inherent drawbacks of a monopoly. But, it is necessary for an invention to remain adequately free, such that it can be continuously improved upon by other individuals; as such activities promote the progress of useful arts, which is the foundation the patent system is based upon.
Not Obvious The patent is valid under Section 103 as it demonstrates a significant improvement from a previous invention. Because the magnitude of the improvement is not insignificant, it must be considered to be superior, and therefore different from previous patents of similar devices. Such interpretations are necessary to encourage the innovation and improvement of currently existing devices, which in turn contributes to the progress of useful arts, which under the U.S. Constitution is the purpose of allowing a temporary monopoly on an invention. Were such types of patents rendered invalid, the incentive to improve upon existing inventions would be undermined, and thus, the progress of useful arts would be impeded.