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Seymour v. Osborne (78 U.S. 516, 1870)

Decision Parameters

Decisions It Cites

Decisions That Cite It

    Gottschalk v. Benson [409 U.S. 63, 1972]

Rules & Quotes

[USEFUL] {1} Improvements for which a patent may be granted must be new and useful, within the meaning of the patent law, or the patent will be void, but the requirement of the patent act in that respect is satisfied if the combination is new and the machine is capable of being beneficially used for the purpose for which it was designed, as the law does not require that it should be of such general utility as to supersede all other inventions in practice to accomplish the same object.

[MEANS] {2} 5. That the several letters patent are void and of no effect because the claims therein patented are for an effect, and not for any particular machinery. Founded as the defense is upon an obvious misconstruction of the claims of the several patents, it does not seem to require much explanation. Omit the words "substantially as described", or "substantially as set forth", and the question presented would be a very different one, but inasmuch as those words, or words of equivalent import, are employed in each of the claims, the defense is without merit. Where the claim immediately follows the description of the invention it may be construed in connection with the explanations contained in the specifications, and where it contains words referring back to the specifications, it cannot properly be construed in any other way.

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