Class Notes 1/31/2011 (Fernando Rodriguez)

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Graham v. John Deere

Graham held the patent and is suing John Deere for infringement Made to SC due to disagreement between judgment in two different courts

Amici Curae (Friends of the Court)

Interpreting 103-

  • Under 103, the scope and content of the prior art are to be determined; differences between the prior art and the claims at issue are to be ascertained; and the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art resolved. Against this background, the obviousness or nonobviousness of the subject matter is determined. Such secondary considerations as commercial success, long felt but unsolved needs, failure of others, etc., might be utilized to give light to the circumstances [383 U.S. 1, 18] surrounding the origin of the subject matter sought to be patented. As indicia of obviousness or nonobviousness, these inquiries may have relevancy.

Important part of the reading:

   "Section 103, for the first time in our statute, provides a condition which exists in the law and has existed for more than 100 years, but only by reason of decisions of the courts. An invention which has been made, and which is new in the sense that the same thing has not been made before, may still not be patentable if the difference between the new thing and what was known before is not considered sufficiently great to warrant a patent. That has been expressed in a large variety of ways in decisions of [383 U.S. 1, 15] the courts and in writings. Section 103 states this requirement in the title. It refers to the difference between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art, meaning what was known before as described in section 102. If this difference is such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time to a person skilled in the art, then the subject matter cannot be patented. 
   "That provision paraphrases language which has often been used in decisions of the courts, and the section is added to the statute for uniformity and definiteness. This section should have a stabilizing effect and minimize great departures which have appeared in some cases." H. R. Rep., supra, at 7; S. Rep., supra, at 6. 

The constitution had all these words (invention) that were later modified. Law also exists on how the Court interprets them, not only in writing

Louisianna has different law base, other states are probably from common law.

Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.

File wrapper: You want your patent to be as wide spread as possible, stubble. YOu cant sue someone for claims that where not expressed in the patent. Cant argue laterr on witht hings that are inconsistent.

Scoggin Pump- held invalid


ADAMS got his patent from the goverment (Patent Office) and then the US Gov used it infringing patent.

Wet battery made by ADAMS

Constant in voltage and current

Independent of current came the voltage, downside is you cant stop it.

Section 3 the prior arts.

None of these show that water could be used, and none of them had the same electrode combination as Adams.

At first they did not like it then they started using, (experts didnt believe them).

Eventhough all the components were previously used, they produced unexpected results.

Eventually even other experts got patents on his on Adams Patent