Advanced Building Systems v Ramset Fasteners

Posted by Anton Hughes on Sunday, January 29, 2006 with No comments
Another patentable subject matter case. It has lots of good stuff in it, but I really just wanted to set out the following quote (for now):
[I]t has long been established that "a clear distinction will be drawn between the discovery of one of nature's laws, and of its application to some new and useful purpose" [fn42: Carpmael, The Law of Patents for Inventions, 5th ed (1852) at 34]. Whilst discovery adds to the sum of human knowledge, s 6 of the Statute of Monopolies is concerned with a manner of manufacture. Thus, in Neilson v Minister of Public Works, NSW, Isaacs J, speaking of a discovery which might be applied in the improved treatment of sewage, said [fn 43: (1914) 18 CLR 423 at 429]: "Assuming therefore, the idea is original that the best conditions are fermentation short of putrefaction, still without some practical means of carrying out that idea so as to add to the sum of human art - not merely human discovery - the idea is not patentable."
(at 15-16)