Talk:A. & P. Tea Co. v. Supermarket Corp., 340 U.S. 147 (1950)

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Courtney

(a) The extension of the counter alone was not sufficient to sustain the patent, unless, together with the other old elements, it made up a new combination patentable as such. Pp. 340 U. S. 149-150.

(b) The mere combination of a number of old parts or elements which, in combination, perform or produce no new or different function or operation than that theretofore performed or produced by them, is not patentable invention. P. 340 U. S. 151.

(c) This patentee has added nothing to the total stock of knowledge, but has merely brought together segments of prior art and claims them in congregation as a monopoly. P. 340 U. S. 153.

(d) Commercial success, without invention, does not make patentability. P. 340 U. S. 153.

The District Court sustained the validity of certain patent claims. 78 F.Supp. 388. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 179 F.2d 636. This Court granted certiorari. 339 U.S. 947. Reversed, p. 340 U. S. 154.

The District Court explicitly found that each element in this device was known to prior art.

In course of time, the profession came to employ the term "combination" to imply its presence, and the term "aggregation" to signify its absence, thus making antonyms in legal art of words which, in ordinary speech, are more nearly synonyms.

This patentee has added nothing to the total stock of knowledge, but has merely brought together segments of prior art and claims them in congregation as a monopoly.