Roberts v. Ryer - 91 U.S. 150 (1875)
U.S. Supreme Court
Roberts v. Ryer, 91 U.S. 150 (1875)
Roberts v. Ryer
91 U.S. 150
1. The doctrine announced in Smith v. Nichols, 21 Wall. 112, that
"a mere carrying forward or new or more extended application of the original thought, a change only in form, proportions, or degree, doing substantially the same thing in the same way, by substantially the same means, with better results,"
is not such an invention as will sustain a patent, reaffirmed.
2. It is no new invention to use an old machine for a new purpose. The inventor of a machine is entitled to the benefit of all the uses to which it can be put, no matter whether he had conceived the idea of the use or not.
The bill in this case was filed by the assignee of D. W. C. Sanford, alleging an infringement of a patent to Sanford for an improvement in refrigerators.
The principal defense relied upon was the prior invention of Lyman. The circuit court sustained this defense and dismissed the bill. From this decree the complainant appealed.