Smith v Snow

Posted by Anton Hughes on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 with No comments

Citation

Smith v Snow (1935) 294 US 1, 55 S.Ct 279

Jurisdiction

US Supreme Court

Facts

Patent for egg incubator solving major problems in the artificial incubation of eggs. P instituted infringement proceedings against D who claimed the patent was limited to a particular arrangement as set out in the specifications.

Outcome

P successful.

Ratio

  • Patentee was not confined to the particular mode of use of the method patent described in the specifications, since the claims of the patent, not its specifications, measure the invention.

Relevance

Of only tangential relevance to software patenting - referred to in some cases where both an analog and digital method of exploiting the invention were possible.

Quotes


Stone J

At 11: "We may take it that, as the statute requires, the specifications just detailed show a way of using the inventor's method, and that he conceived that particular way described was the best one. But he is not confined to that particular mode of use, since the claims of the patent, not its specifications, measure the invention."