Funk Brothers Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co.,
333 U.S. 127 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Funk Brothers Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co., 333 U.S. 127 (1948)

Funk Brothers Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co.

No. 280

Argued January 13, 1948

Decided February 16, 1948

333 U.S. 127


1. Certain product claims of Bond Patent No. 2,200,532, on certain mixed cultures of root-nodule bacteria capable of inoculating the seeds of leguminous plants belonging to several cross-inoculation groups, held invalid for want of invention. Pp. 333 U. S. 128-132.

2. Discovery of the fact that certain strains of each species of these bacteria can be mixed without harmful effect on the properties of either is not patentable, since it is no more than the discovery of a phenomenon of nature. P. 333 U. S. 131.

3. The application of this newly discovered natural principle to the problem of packaging inoculants was not invention or discovery within the meaning of the patent laws. Pp. 333 U. S. 131-132.

161 F.2d 981, reversed.

In a patent infringement suit, the District Court held certain product claims invalid for want of invention. The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. 161 F.2d 981. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 755. Reversed, 132.

Page 333 U. S. 128

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