Patent Law Keyed to Adelman
Hotchkiss v. Greenwood
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Plaintiff claimed his invention was an improvement in the manufacture of clay or porcelain knobs, such as doorknobs. The improvement was accomplished by dovetailing the hole where the screw was to be inserted by making it largest at the bottom and then pouring metal into the hold to form the screw. Defendant argued that the improvement was obvious and therefore should not be granted a patent in the first place. The court told the jury that the patent was invalid if it found such knobs had been manufactured in a similar way using metal, wood or some material other than clay or porcelain. The jury found for Defendant, and Plaintiff then claimed the finding was incorrect and moved for a new trial.
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