Cedarapids, Inc. v. Nordberg, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
121 F.3d 727 (1997)
United States Patent No. 4,697,745 disclosed a system for increasing the output of a rock crushing machine without having to increase the size of the machine’s chamber, by simultaneously increasing the speed and throw of the crusher. The patent specification provided that, for a seven-foot rock crusher, throw can be increased up to 40 percent, while speed can be increased up to 100 percent above standard settings. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Cedarapids, Inc. (Cedarapids) (plaintiff), holding the patent invalid because it failed to comply with the enablement requirement set forth in 35 U.S.C. § 112. Specifically, the court found that, based on the reasoning in various chemical cases, the patent was not enabling because it provided values for speed and throw increases only for a seven-foot crusher and not for crushers of any other size. The court concluded that because the specification was limited to values for seven-foot machines, undue experimentation would be necessary to apply the process successfully to other crusher sizes. Nordberg, Inc. (Nordberg) (defendant) appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Archer, C.J.)
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