DIAMOND v. DIEHR. Opinion of the Court. JusTICE REHNQUIST deliVered the opinion of the Court. We granted certiorari to determine. Citation. Diamond v. Diehr, U.S. , S. Ct. , 67 L. Ed. 2d , U.S. LEXIS 73, U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 1, 49 U.S.L.W. (U.S. Mar. 3, ). Title: U.S. Reports: Diamond v. Diehr, U.S. (). Contributor Names: Rehnquist, William H. (Judge): Supreme Court of the United States (Author).

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The remaining steps — installing rubber in the press and the subsequent closing of the. Each year Federal-Mogul uses the claimed process to mold about six million pounds of synthetic rubber.

Claims depend from claim 7 and are basically the same as claims except for their dependency on claim 7 instead of claim 1. Gottschalk, Dann, Parker, and Diamond were not ordinary litigants — each was serving as Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks when he opposed the availability of patent protection for a program-related invention. Computers, as such, do not measure time. The patent application at issue was filed on August 6, by James R.

Other commentators have observed that the Court’s analysis in Benson was entirely consistent with the mental steps doctrine. The rejection now is alone. Nonetheless, uncontrolled variables present in the actual process make it difficult or impossible to postulate a single temperature from which such computations would produce a satisfactory result.

Are all inventions that involve a calculation unpatentable per se? The Board, confusing the use of a thermostat with the continuous measurement of actual temperatures, and considering the claims step by step rather than as a whole, then stated:. We note that, as early asthis Court approvingly referred to patent eligibility of processes for curing rubber. Before being molded, the elastomers used in this process are chemical compounds of a type known as polymers.

Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175 (1981)

Claim 5 has been amended to cover a “method of operating a plurality of rubber-molding presses simultaneously curing precision molded compounds in conjunction with a computer. After studying the question of computer program patentability, the Commission recommended that computer programs be expressly excluded from the coverage of the patent laws; this recommendation was based primarily upon the Patent Office’s inability to deal dieyr the administrative burden of examining program applications.

A rheometer not a part of a computer is used to measure what is known as the activation energy content of the very batch of material being molded.


Our previous decisions regarding the patentability of “algorithms” are necessarily limited to the more narrow definition employed by the Court, and we do not pass judgment on whether processes falling outside the definition previously used by this Dishr, but within the definition offered by the petitioner, would be patentable subject matter.

Diamond v. Diehr ruling by US Supreme Court on 3 March – software patents wiki ()

As Judge Baldwin read the majority opinion, claims drawn solely to purely mental processes were now entitled to patent protection. Respondents urge that the CCPA is correct. A competent draftsman could attach some form of post-solution activity to almost any mathematical formula; the Pythagorean theorem would not have been patentable, or partially patentable, because a patent application contained a final step indicating that the formula, when solved, could be usefully applied to existing surveying techniques.

The invention solved this problem by using embedded thermocouples to constantly check the temperature, and then feeding the measured values into a computer. Views Read Edit View history. Chief Justice Warren E. See Appendix A, p. The Patent Office guidelines were based primarily upon the “mental steps” doctrine and the Cochrane v. Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed by: That is not the question presented to this Court.

During the time motor 47 operates, which is the length of a cure cycle, voltage is applied to the primary side of transformer 51 by lines 52, A fair reading of the entire patent application, as well as the specific claims, makes it perfectly clear that what Diehr and Lutton claim to have discovered is a method djehr using a digital computer to determine the amount of time that a rubber molding press should remain closed during the synthetic rubber curing process.

Although the statute should be applied uniformly throughout the Patent and Trademark Office, it is not. There is no suggestion that there is anything novel in the instrumentation of fiamond mold, in actuating a timer when the press is closed, riamond in automatically opening the press when the computed time expires. Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari by the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks to resolve this question. It is not as old as molding itself, but it is quite old.

Rather, what will be patented will be a very practical, very beneficial molding process involving the use of programmed data processors to produce desirable results in a technological art. After all, many processes that have no step which is novel in itself are still novel and patentable when all the steps are considered as a whole. Although the Court did not discuss the mental steps doctrine in Benson, some commentators have suggested that the Court implicitly relied upon the doctrine in that case.


Therefore, the Court is now deciding that the patent will issue. It has long been used for calculating the curing time for rubber compounds.

In the present case under he first rejected the case under Section as well as Section Although we were dealing with a “product” claim in Funk Bros. See generally Comment, 35 U. Both processes involved 1 an initial calculation, 2 continual remeasurement and recalculation, and 3 some control use of the value obtained from the calculation.

That holding plainly requires the rejection of Claims 1 and 2 of the Diehr and Lutton application quoted in the Court’s opinion. In other words, the claims in Diehr were patent eligible because they improved an existing technological process, not because they were implemented on a computer.

Respondents characterize their contribution to the art to reside in the process of constantly measuring the actual temperature inside the mold. Other criticism, however, identifies two concerns to which federal judges have a duty to respond.

Before determining the answer to the question presented by this case, the Court should be presented with an accurate statement of that question. As the dissenting opinion in Diehr noted, the patent specification “teaches nothing about the chemistry of the synthetic rubber-curing process, nothing about the raw materials to be used in curing synthetic rubber, nothing about the equipment to be used in the process, and nothing about the significance or effect of any process variable such as temperature, curing time, particular compositions of material, or mold configurations.

B, on the contrary, may invent a new furnace or stove, or steam apparatus, by which this process may be carried on with much saving of labor and expense of fuel, and he will be entitled to a patent for his machine as an improvement in the art. Retrieved from ” https: