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Hotchkiss v. Greenwood
United States Supreme Court
52 U.S. (11 How.) 248 (1851)
Hotchkiss (plaintiff) sued Greenwood (defendant) for infringing a patent claiming a new doorknob, particularly where the knobs were made of clay or porcelain, as opposed to metal or some other material. At trial, the judge instructed the jury that, if the only distinction between the Hotchkiss doorknobs and the prior art doorknobs were that the Hotchkiss knobs were made of clay or porcelain, and if all of the other components of the Hotchkiss knobs were known in the art, then the patent was invalid. Hotchkiss appealed on the ground that the judge improperly instructed the jury.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)
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