Application of Swinehart et al.

439 F.2d 210, 169 U.S.P.Q. 226 (1971)

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Application of Swinehart et al.

United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
439 F.2d 210, 169 U.S.P.Q. 226 (1971)

Facts

Carl Swinehart and Marko Sfiligoj (the inventors) applied for a patent on a eutectic composition of matter made from combining barium fluoride and calcium fluoride. Such combinations already existed in the prior art, but they were opaque in appearance. The inventors’ innovation was to use crystalline forms of the two components, resulting in a unique, transparent crystal composition. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rejected one of the application’s claims (claim 24) on the ground that it used functional language—i.e., language that covers any and all embodiments that perform the desired function. The inventors appealed to the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Baldwin, J.)

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