Thatcher Heating Co. v. Burtis - 121 U.S. 286 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Thatcher Heating Co. v. Burtis, 121 U.S. 286 (1887)
Thatcher Heating Company v. Burtis
Argued April 5, 1887
Decided April 18, 1887
121 U.S. 286
A combination of well known separate elements, each of which, when combined, operates separately and in its old way, and in which no result is produced which cannot be assigned to the independent action of one or the other of the separate elements, is not patentable.
Letters patent No. 104,376, dated June 14, 1870, granted to John M. Thatcher for improvements in fireplace heaters, are not for a particular device for effecting the combination described in the patentees' claim, but for the combination itself, no matter how or by what means it may be effected, and, as such, are void.
Bill in equity to restrain infringements of letters patent. Decree dismissing the bill. Complainants appealed. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.