DIAMOND v. DIEHR. Opinion of the Court. JusTICE REHNQUIST deliVered the opinion of the Court. We granted certiorari to determine. Engineers James Diehr and Theodore Lutton invented an improved press that cured rubber by controlled heating. The press contained a temperature probe. 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, ).

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It’s not a mathematical patent, it’s a rubber curing patent. Therefore, the Court is now deciding that the patent will issue. Modern rubber curing methods apparently still are based in substantial part upon the concept discovered by Goodyear:.

The mental steps doctrine was based upon the familiar principle that a scientific concept or mere idea cannot be the subject of a valid patent. Only last Term, we explained:. When the recalculated time equals the actual time that has elapsed since the press was closed, the computer signals a device to open the press.

The method analyzed conventionally obtained data by using well-known equations. Contents 1 The opinion 2 Excerpts 3 Amicus briefs 4 Related pages on en. A manufacturing process is clearly an art within the meaning of the law. Resurrection of the Standard, 50 Notre Dame Law.

The new guidelines were to have a short life. Diher granted certiorari to determine whether a process for curing synthetic rubber which includes in several of its steps the use of a mathematical formula and a programmed digital computer is patentable subject matter under 35 U. The rule that the discovery of a law of nature cannot be patented rests not on the notion that natural phenomena are not processes, but rather on the more fundamental understanding that they are not the kind of ‘discoveries’ that the statute was enacted to protect.

CLS Bank diamonc, No. Respondents claim that their process ensures the production of molded articles which are properly cured.

It also results in a specific, quantifiable result cured rubber. The claims were drawn to a method for computing an “alarm limit. Commentators critical of the Flook decision have noted the essential similarity of the two inventions:.


No comparable language is found in sectionwhich has retained substantially the same form since the first patent act in See ante at U. Industrial processes such as this are the types which have historically been eligible to receive the protection of our patent laws. Recently, in Gottschalk v. It describes a “method of operating a rubber-molding press for precision molded compounds with the aid of a digital computer. These include viamond rubber in a press, closing the mold, constantly determining the temperature of the mold, constantly recalculating the appropriate cure time through the use of the formula and a digital computer, and automatically opening the press at the proper time.

We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or information linked to from this site. As I stated at the outset, the starting point in the proper adjudication of patent litigation is an understanding of what the inventor claims to have discovered.

Lehrmach: Diamond v. Diehr | . Patent . Transformative . Computer Software . Case Brief

The only novel part of Diehr’s invention was the math equation. 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 with the administrative burden of examining program applications.

The Patent Office guidelines were based primarily upon the “mental steps” doctrine and the Diamind v. Finally, the Patent and Trademark Office Board of Appeals expressly found that “the only difference between the conventional methods of operating a molding press and that claimed in dizmond application rests in those steps of the claims which relate to the calculation incident to the solution of the mathematical problem or formula used to control the mold heater and the automatic opening of the press.

The term machine includes every mechanical device or combination of mechanical powers and devices to perform some function and produce a certain effect or result. The Court repeated its earlier holding that mathematical formulas in the abstract are not eligible for patent protection. For setting off an alarm limit at the appropriate time is surely as important to the safe and efficient operation of a catalytic conversion process as is actuating the mold-opening device in a synthetic rubber curing process.


The Court misapplies Parker v. Satani, Fundamentals of Vd Algorithms 2 ; A. In contrast, the respondents here do not seek to patent a mathematical formula. The Court’s decision in this case rests on a misreading of the Diehr and Lutton patent application.

This reinterpretation would lead to the conclusion that computer programs were within the categories of inventions to which Congress intended to extend patent protection.

It did criticize the analytic methodology of Flookhowever, by challenging its use of analytic dissectionwhich the Flook Court based on Neilson v. The Court “found the overall process patent eligible because of the way the additional steps of the process [besides the equation] integrated the equation into the process as a whole.

Even the Court does not suggest that the computer program developed by Diehr and Lutton is a patentable diwhr.

The citations in this article are written in Bluebook style. Tanenbaum, Structured Computer Organization 10 In Flook, the Court’s analysis of the post-solution activity recited in the patent application turned not on the dehr significance of that activity in the catalytic conversion process, but rather on the fact that that activity was not a part of the applicant’s discovery:.

I Diegr patent application at issue was filed by the respondents on August 6, The computer would simultaneously keep track of the elapsed time. The claims covered all uses of the formula in processes “comprising the catalytic chemical conversion of hydrocarbons.

In determining priority of invention there shall be considered not only the respective dates of conception and reduction to practice of the invention, but also the reasonable diligence of one who was first to conceive and last to reduce to practice, from a time prior to conception by the other.

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

In In re Bergy, F. In V re Ghiron, 58 C. In the portion of the application entitled “Background of the Invention,” the following statement is found:.

Similarly, in Parker v.