Hotchkiss Analysis

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In the Supreme Court case Hotchkiss v. Greenwood, the Court decided that Hotchkiss’s method of making knobs from potter’s clay or porcelain instead of wood or metal was not inventive enough to qualify for a patent. Simply substituting materials was something a skilled mechanic could have done instead of an inventor. My patent, the skateboard with a braking system activated by shifting the rider’s weight, would qualify for a patent under the requirements of this case.

The pedal braking invention, which preceded my patent by three years, is much different from my patent in both appearance and components. Like in the Hotchkiss case where the potter’s clay knobs had a better appearance than the wood or metal knobs, my patent is more aesthetically pleasing than the pedal breaking patent. This is because it looks like a normal skateboard while the pedal braking invention has a pedal sticking out of the top of the skateboard. However, in the Hotchkiss case, the knobs had been assembled using the same method that had been used many times before for other knobs of different materials. In the case of my patent, it was assembled much differently than the pedal braking invention using different parts. My patent does not make use of a pedal component at all or the spring that is attached to the pedal. In effect, my patent accomplishes the same thing as the pedal breaking invention by a different method.

The braking/steering invention preceded my patent by two years and is also much different than my patent in appearance and components. My patent also was more aesthetically pleasing than the braking/steering invention because it did not include an arm going from the bottom of the skateboard to foot level like the braking/steering invention. My patent does not use components from the braking/steering invention like the u-bar, the leaf spring, or the arm. While my patent achieves braking in a different method than the braking/steering invention, it lacks the ability to stop only one wheel like the braking/steering invention, which provides that option to the rider.

Overall, my patent would still qualify for a patent under the requirements of the Hotchkiss v. Greenwood case. While it does contain components made of the same materials as those from the pedal braking and braking/steering inventions, such as the board, wheels, and trucks, it also uses different materials by not using the same components as the previous two inventions. In other words, this is the word of an inventor, not a skilled mechanic.