Leeds & Catlin Co. v. Victor Talking Machine (213 U.S. 301, 1909 Apr 19)

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[PROCESS] {1} A process and an apparatus by which it is performed are distinct things. They may be found in one patent; they may be made the subject of different patents. So may other dependent and related inventions.

[OBVIOUS] {2} A combination is a union of elements, which may be partly old and partly new, or wholly old or wholly new.

{3} Claims are independent inventions. One may be infringed, others not, and the redress of the patentee is limited to the injury he suffers, not by the abstract rights which have been granted him in other claims. One claim may be valid, all the rest invalid,-invalid for the want of some essential patentable attribute. But what is good remains and is unaffected by its illegal associates. In such cases the patent does not stand or fall as a unity. If claims may be separable, as in the case of infringement of some and not of others,-if claims can be separable, though some are invalid,-may they not be separable when some of them have expired?


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