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[JUDICIAL ERROR - MENTAL] Haliburton Oil Well v. Walker (146 F.2d 817, 1944 Dec 28)

Decision Parameters

Decisions It Cites

    Cochrane v. Deener [94 U.S. 780, 1877]
    Don Lee v. Walker [61 F.2d 58, 1932]

Decisions That Cite It

Rules & Quotes

[JUDICIAL ERROR - MENTAL] {1} The court held this patent invalid for want of invention, finding that its novelty lay only in the performance of certain mental steps. This is a method patent. The steps involved are described in the claims by the following descriptive words "determining," "registering," "counting," "observing," "measuring," "comparing," "recording," "computing". ... We think these mental steps, even if novel, are not patentable. Cf. Don Lee, Inc. v. Walker, 9 Cir., 61 F.2d 58

[JUDICIAL ERROR - MENTAL] The Don Lee decision is a long ruling on the issue of patent novelty, and nowhere uses terms such as "mental", "mind", and "thought". Thus, this first, circuit court, decision using the concept of "mental steps" rests on a decision that nowhere mentions "mental steps". It is judicial error to cite Don Juan as a basis for a banning method patents for being "mental steps". Worse, nowhere does Haliburton define very complicated terms such as "mental" and "thought". This decision should not be a precedent for any decision on mental steps.

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