In re Kemper (14 F. 286, 1841 May)

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[NOVEL] {1} If [one way of laying ice] has been done before, although the beneficial effect of so placing it, rather than on its broadest side, had not been discovered, it is not a new thing. The only new thing is the discovery of the beneficial effect, and that is the discovery of a thing which existed before; for if it is now true that ice so placed keeps longer than when differently placed, it was always true; and that it existed before, is shown in the specification, where it is said that the effect was discovered by experience. ... A discovery, in this sense, is not the subject of a patent; ... The applicant must invent, contrive, or produce something that did not exist before. ... and whether the application was for a patent for an invention or a discovery, it must be founded upon an invention or discovery of an useful art, etc., (or improvement therein), not before known or used. ... wherever the word discovery or discoverer is coupled with invention or inventor, it is evident that it means the discovery or discoverer of something new - something that did not exist before ... The discovery of a new effect of that which existed before is not the subject of a patent. ... There is no invention - nothing contrived or produced which did not exist before.


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