Butler v. Steckel - 137 U.S. 21 (1890)
U.S. Supreme Court
Butler v. Steckel, 137 U.S. 21 (1890)
Butler v. Steckel
Argued October 2l, 1890
Decided November 3, 1890
137 U.S. 21
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
The claims of letters patent No. 274,264, granted to Theodore H. Butler, George w. Earhart, and William M. Crawford, March 20, 1883, for an
"improvement in pretzel cutters," are invalid because, in view of the state of the art, it required no invention to make a single die to cut dough on a flat surface into any particular shape desired, whether the shape of a pretzel or any other shape.
All that it was necessary to do was to take the pretzel as a pattern and make a die to correspond in shape with it, the pretzel presenting all the lines and creases, points and configurations, that were required in the die.