U.S. Supreme Court
Knapp v. Morss, 150 U.S. 221 (1893)
Knapp v. Morss
Nos. 55, 310
Argued October 26, 1893
Decided November 20, 1893
150 U.S. 221
The second claim in letters patent No. 333,240, for improvements in dress forms, issued October 12, 1880, to John Hall, and by him assigned to Charles A. Morns, viz.,
"2. In combination with the standard a and ribs c, the double braces e2, the sliding blocks f1 and f2, and rests h1 and h2, substantially as and for the purposes set forth,"
when read and interpreted with reference to other and broader claims which were made by the patentee and were rejected by the Patent Office, must either be held to be invalid for want of invention or must be so limited in view of that action by the Patent Office, and in view of the prior state of the art, as not to be infringed by a combination leaving out one of the elements of the patentee's device.
A claim in letters patent cannot be so construed as to cover what was rejected by the Patent Office on the application for the patent.
The combination of old elements which perform no new function, and accomplish no new results, does not involve patentable novelty.
The end or purpose sought to be accomplished by a device is not the subject of a patent, but only the new and useful means for obtaining that end.
In equity to restrain the infringement of letters patent. The case is stated in the opinion.