Smith v. Snow (294 U.S. 1, 1935 Jan 07)

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[DESCRIPTION] {1} We may take it that, as the statute requires, the specifications just detailed show a way of using the inventor's method, and that he conceived that particular way described was the best one. But he is not confined to that particular mode of use since the claims of the patent, not its specifications, measure the invention. Paper Bag Patent Case, 210 U.S. 405, 419; McCarty v. Lehigh Valley R. Co., 160 U.S. 110, 116; Winans v. Denmead, 15 How. 330, 343. While the claims of a patent may incorporate the specifications or drawings by reference, see Snow v. Lake Shore R. Co., 121 U.S. 617, 630, and thus limit the patent to the form described in the specifications, it is not necessary to embrace in the claims or describe in the specifications all possible forms in which the claimed principle may be reduced to practice. It is enough that the principle claimed is exemplified by a written description of it and of the manner of using it "in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms" as will enable one "skilled in the art to make, construct, compound and use the same".

[OBVIOUS] {2} This history of the prior art serves to emphasize rather than to discredit the striking advance made by Smith in effecting the combination defined in Claim 1. More than the skill of the art was involved in combining and adjusting its elements in such fashion as to solve the major problems of artificial incubation. The prior art discloses no application of a continuously circulating current of air to eggs in staged incubation which would restrict Claim 1 with respect either to the arrangement of the eggs or the direction or control of the current of air.


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