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GRAVER TANK & MFG. CO., INC. V. LINDE, 336 U. S. 271 (1949)

U.S. Supreme Court

Graver Tank & Mfg. Co., Inc. v. Linde, 336 U.S. 271 (1949)

Graver Tank & Mfg. Co., Inc. v. Linde

Nos. 184 and 185

Argued January 6, 1949

Decided February 28, 1949

336 U.S. 271


1. Certain flux claims of Jones patent No. 2,043,960, for an electric welding process and for fluxes, or compositions, to be used therewith, held valid and infringed. Pp. 336 U. S. 273-276.

(a) This Court, being a court of law, rather than a court for correction of errors in factfinding, cannot undertake to review concurrent findings of fact by two courts below in the absence of a very obvious and exceptional showing of error. Pp. 336 U. S. 274-275.

(b) While the ultimate question of patentability is one of meeting the requirements of the statute, the facts found by the two courts below with respect to these claims warrant a conclusion by this Court as a matter of law that those statutory requirements have been met. P. 336 U. S. 275.

(c) The two courts below found that these claims were infringed, and this Court finds no cause for reversal. Pp. 336 U. S. 275-276.

2. Certain other flux claims of the same patent held invalid as being too broad and comprehending more than the invention. Pp. 336 U. S. 276-277.

(a) While vain repetition is no more to be encouraged in patents than in other documents, and claims, like other statements, may incorporate other matters by reference, their text must be sufficient to "particularly point out and distinctly claim" an identifiable invention or discovery. P. 336 U. S. 277.

(b) When claims overclaim the invention to the point of invalidity and are free from ambiguity which might justify resort to the specifications, they are not to be saved because the latter are less inclusive. P. 336 U. S. 277.

3. All process claims of the same patent held invalid. Pp. 336 U. S. 277-279.

4. Both courts below having found that the patent had not been abused so as to forfeit the right to maintain an infringement suit based on the claims held valid, this Court affirms their judgment on that point. Pp. 336 U. S. 279-280.

167 F.2d 531, affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Page 336 U. S. 272

In a suit for infringement of a patent, the District Court held that certain claims were valid and infringed, and had not been forfeited by misuse, but that certain other claims were invalid. 75 U.S.P.Q. 231. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part. 167 F.2d 531. This Court granted certiorari. 335 U.S. 810. Judgment of the Court of Appeals reversed insofar as it reverses that of the District Court and judgment of the District Court reinstated in toto. P. 336 U. S. 280.

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