Butler v. Steckel
137 U.S. 21 (1890)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Butler v. Steckel, 137 U.S. 21 (1890)

Butler v. Steckel

No. 38

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

Syllabus

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

Page 137 U. S. 22

"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.

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