Burt v. Evory
133 U.S. 349 (1890)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Burt v. Evory, 133 U.S. 349 (1890)

Burt v. Evory

No. 104

Argued December 10, 1889

Decided February 3, 1890

133 U.S. 349

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS

Syllabus

The claim in letters patent No. 59,375, granted to Alexander F. Evory and Alonzo Heston, November 6, 1866, for an "improvement in boots and shoes" was for a manufactured article, and not for the mode of producing it, and, as it was merely a carrying forward of the original idea of the earlier patents on the same subject -- simply a change in form and arrangement of the constituent parts of the shoe, or an improvement in degree only -- it was not a patentable invention.

Not every improvement in an article is patentable, but the improvement must be the product of an original conception, and if it is a mere carrying forward or more extended application of an original idea, an improvement in degree only, it is not an invention.

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