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U.S. Supreme Court

Dow Chemical Co. v. Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Co., 324 U.S. 320 (1945)

Dow Chemical Co. v. Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Co.

Argued February 6, 1945

Decided March 5, 1945*

324 U.S. 320


1. To resolve a conflict between Circuit Courts of Appeals as to the validity of a patent, this Court will determine independently the factual issue of validity. P. 324 U. S. 322.

2. Grebe and Sanford Patent No. 1,877,504, Claims 1, 5, 7, 8 and 9, for a method of treating deep wells to increase production, held invalid for want of invention. Pp. 324 U. S. 324, 324 U. S. 331.

In the described process, there was no patentable invention in any of the following claims or any combination thereof: (1) addition of an inhibiting agent to the hydrochloric acid solution to prevent corrosion; (2) use of a dilute, rather than a concentrated, hydrochloric acid solution; (3) use of the ordinary pump tube instead of a specially protected supply pipe to introduce the acid into the well.

3. The application of an old process to a new and analogous use lacks the very essence of an invention. P. 324 U. S. 327. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 324 U. S. 321

4. The mere addition of water to dilute a known chemical solution does not entitle one to a patent monopoly, at least unless a definite dilution point or range is discovered corresponding to a physical phenomenon. P. 324 U. S. 329.

5. The mere substitution of equivalents which do substantially the same thing in the same way, even though better result may be produced, is not such an invention as will sustain a patent. P. 324 U. S. 330.

6. That a claimed invention filled a long felt want and has been a commercial success is relevant only when the question of invention is otherwise in doubt. P. 324 U. S. 330.

139 F.2d 473 affirmed.

Certiorari, 322 U.S. 719, on cross-petitions by a patent owner (petitioner in No. 50) and an alleged infringer (cross petitioner in No. 61), to review the affirmance of a decree holding invalid certain claims of a patent and dismissing the complaint in a suit for infringement.

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