DIAMOND v. DIEHR. Opinion of the Court. JusTICE REHNQUIST deliVered the opinion of the Court. We granted certiorari to determine. 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, ). Title: U.S. Reports: Diamond v. Diehr, U.S. (). Contributor Names: Rehnquist, William H. (Judge): Supreme Court of the United States (Author).

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It is now commonplace that an application of a law of nature or mathematical formula to a known structure or process may well be deserving of patent protection. With this response, applicants sincerely believe this case in condition for allowance. As the dissenting opinion in Diehr noted, the patent specification “teaches diaond about the chemistry of the synthetic rubber-curing process, nothing about the raw materials to be used in curing synthetic rubber, nothing about the equipment to be used in the process, and nothing about the significance or effect of any process variable such as temperature, curing time, particular compositions of material, or mold configurations.

This is an on line update, rather than the manually inserted rheometric data of Smith. Respondents have endeavored to survey cases involving computer-related claims and technology which have come before the CCPA and have come up with the following results as of July 1, Thus, although a principle of nature is recited in the claim, the claim as a whole is not drawn to that principle, but constitutes a use of the principle in a novel way to a practical, beneficial end. The method of claim 1 including providing the computer with a mold temperature set point for each mold and a constant of proportionality with which a range of permissible mold temperature variation may be calculated, calculating at frequent periodic intervals in the computer the range of mold temperature variations from the set point, comparing at frequent periodic intervals in the computer the range of mold temperatures and the actual temperature, and controlling the mold heater to keep the mold temperature within the calculated range of the set point.


Gould is further distinguished in that Gould relied on an analog computer to calculate cure in terms of “cure units,” each cure unit being defined as the cure obtained at a given temperature for one minute Gould, claim 1.

Flook in detail, saying “The Court determined that the claims were essentially directed to the use of a new mathematical formula in the conventional process of updating alarm limits.

The apparatus for performing the process was not patented, and was not material. The CCPA also held that the present claims are not directed to a mathematical formula or a method of calculation but to a process or method for molding rubber articles.

So is the step of constantly determining the temperature at the stated location so as not to destroy or damage the product. These include installing 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.

Before this Court decided Flook, however, the lower court developed a two-step procedure for analyzing program-related inventions in light of Benson. Burger Associate Justices William J. This page was last edited on 11 Decemberat Judge Kirkpatrick, joined by Chief Judge Worley, wrote a vigorous dissent objecting to the majority’s decision to abandon “a rule which is about as solidly established as any rule of the patent law.

When a patent issues, it is printed, and anyone can get a copy for fifty cents and reproduce any or all pages with impunity. A rheometer is an instrument to measure flow of diamonnd substances. This form of claim analysis did not originate with Flook. Before the present invention, the industry could not uniformly obtain accurate cure.

In In g McIlroy, 58 C. Other commentators are in accord. Finally, in a description of a simple hypothetical application using the invention described in Claim 1, this is the reference to the temperature reading device:.


Therefore, reexamination and reconsideration is respectfully requested. Ina group of scientists at the Institute for Advanced Study completed MANIAC I, the first digital computer capable of operating diaond stored programs, as opposed to hard-wired circuitry.


Similarly, a mathematical formula does not become patentable subject matter merely by including in the dimaond for the formula token post-solution activity such as the type claimed in Flook. Gottschalk, Dann, Parker, and Diamond were not ordinary litigants — each was serving as Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks when he opposed the availability of patent protection for a program-related invention.


Thus, the Court viewed the claim as directed to the scientific diiamond itself, rather than to an application of, or structure created with the aid of, the scientific truth. In its more recent decision in In re Walter, F. There can be no question but that the principle of nature embodied in the Arrhenius equation is used within the riehr such that the claim, in its entirety, is drawn to a specific, limited and practical application of the principle to achieve a beneficial result in one of the technological arts.

A second way was to utilize an empirical equation which differs from the present invention.

Nonetheless, the court concluded that the doctrine rested on a misinterpretation of the precedents, and that it was contrary to “the basic purposes of the patent system and productive of a range of undesirable results from the harshly inequitable to the silly.

Claim 1 is quoted in full in n 5 diehg the Court’s opinion, ante at The Supreme Court, in the Benson and Flook cases, has referred the patentability of computer programs duehr se to Congress, and respondents have no reason for contesting that point.

In In re Bernhart, 57 C. When the recalculated cure time equals the actual elapsed time since the press was closed, the computer signals a device which then opens the press.